2014-08-26  

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Scottish Farmers Still Lacking Vital Details on CAP

Growers in Scotland have begun planting crops that will be harvested under the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) regime.

Yet they still have not been told what all the rules will be on the so called ‘greening’ measures. As a result, they are having to make assumptions that may or may not be correct.

NFU Scotland President Nigel Miller

NFU Scotland President Nigel Miller

The Scottish Government is about to send farmers a pack of information on CAP, much of it unchanged from material previously available in June. In contrast, growers in England have been given much clearer, up-to-date guidance. NFU Scotland is once again calling upon the Scottish Government to make and announce its decisions on greening.

NFU Scotland President Nigel Miller said:
“A pack on CAP reform is about to be posted by the Scottish Government to all Scottish farmers. The main document has been available since the Royal Highland Show in June but it remains in desperate need of being updated.

“For months, we have been seeking answers to a significant number of questions on the greening aspects of the new CAP. These are not questions about the generality of the rules – covered in the documents being sent out now - but specific questions that growers need answers to so they can plan and execute their cropping programmes.

“There was a very valuable commitment to providing viable Ecological Focus Area (EFA) options for all and, at this late stage, that hasn’t been delivered yet.

“Farmers in England have had a lot of information available since June and a further 40 pages of guidance was published earlier this month. In contrast, the Scottish Government’s brief greening document on its website fails to provide the detail that is needed by growers.

“We recognise the decision-making process within the European regulation is difficult but the urgency of cultivation and drilling must mean that workable decisions and detail has to be on farm before much more is ploughed. That hasn’t been achieved.

“Despite our requests for guidance, growers have not been able to wait any longer. Winter oilseed rape has to be planted in August and that is well underway; drilling of winter barley will begin in September and seed orders for other crops are being placed. There is no more time for decisions to be considered, they have to be taken now!”

NFUS

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