IFA National Grain Chairman Mark Browne has welcomed the decision by DAFM and the EU Commission to grant a derogation on the 3-Crop Rule.
IFA had previously called on the Minister for Agriculture to recognise the difficulties which farmers were facing in complying with greening regulations due the weather issues.
According to DAFM a decision has now been taken, due to the exceptional circumstances caused by the wet weather last autumn, to make an exception to the crop diversification requirements for 2020 on a case-by-case basis for those farmers who meet certain criteria.
The derogation will apply to farmers who declared winter crops, maize or potatoes on their 2019 BPS application and can demonstrate that they were adversely affected by the weather conditions in late 2019.
However, the Grain Chairman cautioned that DAFM may need to extend the derogation to all farmers who may not have planted Winter crops in 2019, if further wet conditions prevent scheduled plantings this Spring.
“Forcing farmers to plant crops into unsuitable ground conditions would only further exacerbate the poor income situation prevailing on many tillage farms,” he said.