Legislation and Greening

 

Rightly or wrongly paperwork has become increasingly important on farms and even more so on tillage farms. Recent additional legislation and ‘greening’ measures will add to this burden in 2015. With significant payments from Europe and penalties for non-compliance, it is critical you know the rules and ensure you comply with them. 
Legislation Action points
A number of legally binding rules are now in force in relation to pesticides that may directly affect you

Rightly or wrongly paperwork has become increasingly important on farms and even more so on tillage farms. Recent additional legislation and ‘greening’ measures will add to this burden in 2015. With significant payments from Europe and penalties for non-compliance, it is critical you know the rules and ensure you comply with them. 


Legislation Action points

 
A number of legally binding rules are now in force in relation to pesticides that may directly affect you.

 

 

How do you prove that you are farming to the general principles of IPM?

1. If using a chemical (plant protection product) to control a pest, the reason for using the chemical should be recorded in the user’s pesticide application record sheet. 

2. A “tick box” worksheet has been designed by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) to enable farmers to demonstrate how they are adopting the general principles of IPM.  

 

Templates of these record sheets are available for download at www.pcs.agriculture.gov.ie 

 

Professional User Training

From 26th November 2015, growers that spray crops and/or use a knapsack sprayer themselves will be required to be trained in boom and/or knapsack use. If you did a sprayer course in the past it may be acceptable-check with your local Teagasc office.

 

Registration

Once you have your training requirements sorted, you must register as a PU by logging into https://agfood.agriculture.gov.ie/ssoauthagfood/individual.jsp 

 

Sprayer Testing

 

All boom sprayers (>3m wide) must be tested by a registered inspector by 26th November 2016. 

 

Greening

 

Greening accounts for 30% of the available payment under the new scheme replacing the Single Farm Payment (SFP). Most livestock farmers are ‘Green by Definition’, and therefore are not subject to the requirements of Greening. 

 

Are you ‘Green by Definition’?

1. Do you farm less than 10 hectares (25 acres) of arable land? 

Yes-You are ‘Green by Definition’ and exempt from Greening measures

No-Proceed to question 2

2. Greater than 75% of your eligible land grassland (either temporary or permanent grassland) and less than 30 hectares (75 acres) of arable land?

Yes-You are ‘Green by Definition’ and exempt from Greening measures

No-You must comply with Greening measures (see below)

 

If you are not ‘Green by Definition’, in practise there are two areas you need to comply with;

1. Crop Diversification.

2. Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs).

 

Crop Diversification

Crop diversification is designed to encourage a diversity of crops on holdings with arable land. Farmers with less than 10 hectares (25 acres) are exempt. Requirements for those with an arable area between 10 and 30 hectares (25-75 acres) or greater than 30 hectares (75 acres) are outlined in the table below. 

December 31st 

Winter and spring cereals are considered separate crops but sowing date, not variety, determines whether a crop is considered to be a winter or spring crop. The 31st of December sowing date is the date that is used to distinguish between winter and spring crops.  

 

Temporary grass (grass planted after tillage within the last five years) is also considered a crop for crop diversification. 

 

Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs)

Farmers with less than 15 hectares (37.5 acres) of arable land are exempt from this measure while farmers with more than 15 hectares of arable land must have at least 5% EFAs in 2015. The area deemed eligible as an EFA depends on the feature as outlined in the table below.

Farmers will receive maps of the arable parcels they submitted in 2014 with the EFA features mapped out and a total EFA calculated on the basis of the 2014 application. It is important for all farmers to check the accuracy of this information and to amend where necessary as it may not all be 100% correct. 

 

Grassy banks, like the one in the photo, will not qualify as an EFA area and should be carefully examined on the maps.

 

Where there is insufficient EFAs from the hedges, buffer strips and drains farmers can opt to increase their EFA area by leaving land fallow (must have grown an arable crop in 1 of the previous 5 years), sow a catch crop before September 15th and leave till the 1st of December or plant a nitrogen fixing crop.

 

As a nitrogen fixing crop beans will qualify for 0.7Ha of EFA for every Ha planted, can be counted as an additional crop and will also attract the €250 / Ha protein payment.

 

Greening is worth 30% of the new scheme replacing the SFP.  Make sure you comply with crop diversification and EFAs rules-make an early appointment with your advisor/consultant and have all calculations done before you plant.

Get in touch 

For further help and advice contact your local Agri representative

Meet all our representatives