The NFU has welcomed the decision by the Rural Payments Agency
to allow set-aside land to be used for grazing in a bid to help
alleviate some of the problems caused by the recent flooding.
The RPA announced last week that a derogation to allow land set-aside
in 2007 to be grazed or harvested for animal feed is being made
available to farmers. The derogation allows farmers to graze set-aside
land with their own animals or harvest hay or silage for their
The news followed Defra Secretary of State Hilary Benn’s announcement
that he had lifted the GAEC 3 restriction that limits farmers’ access
to waterlogged land with vehicles and machinery until the end of the
month after listening to NFU representatives and farmers at the Great
NFU Vice President Paul Temple said: “The news that set-aside
can be used by farmers for grazing or harvesting forage is very welcome
and will help provide some relief to farmers who are battling the effects
of the recent flooding.”
Farmers wishing to make use of the grazing derogation should telephone,
email or write to the RPA Customer Service Centre with the reference
numbers for the fields they wish to graze or harvest. In these exceptional
circumstances, farmers may consider that the derogation has been granted
unless the RPA contacts them to confirm otherwise.
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