The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D. announced that Ireland will notify the EU Commission of its intention to avail of a derogation for cereal farmers in relation to the crop diversification rules for 2023.
This change will provide maximum flexibility for farmers regarding their planting decisions in the coming weeks and months. The relaxation of these rules is part of the EU response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It is aimed at addressing the heightened food security concerns related to global food availability and affordability.
Within the current CAP, Greening and specifically Crop Diversification places obligations on tillage farmers regarding the number of crops that must be grown, as set out in the BPS Terms and Conditions. For farmers with more than 10 hectares (Ha) of arable land, but less than 30 Ha, at least two crops must be grown. For those with more than 30 Ha, at least three crops must be grown. Along with the number crops farmers also must ensure that the main crop does not exceed 75% of the arable area and for those required to grow more than two crops that the two main crops do not exceed 95% of the arable area.
The Minister said, “this change should be seen as complementing the measures already taken by the Government in 2022 to encourage Irish farmers to grow more tillage crops which in turn will help towards producing more food.”
In relation to 2024, Minister McConalogue added, “my officials are engaging with Commission services in relation to the Crop Diversification and Crop Rotation requirements from 2024. I am pleased to announce that a hybrid of Crop Diversification and Crop Rotation, suitable to the Irish situation, has been agreed with the European Commission.”
Further information in relation to the Crop Diversification and Crop Rotation requirements from 2024 will be announced in the coming weeks, when discussions with the European Commission have concluded.