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Don’t catch a cold with continuing cross-compliance

Don’t catch a cold with continuing cross-compliance

Fri 31 May 2024

Agricultural business consultancy

Cross-compliance was a statutory regulation that underpinned claiming BPS and other schemes in UK Agricultural policy since 2005. It was removed at midnight 31st December 2023, simultaneous with delinking of BPS from the land. Delinked payments we are now familiar with as your reference amounts are set, and you will receive a run-off of BPS as delinked payments until 2027.

So, sounds great; continue to receive delinked payments, apply for SFI actions that suit you and get on with farming, right? Wrong, supporting Whitehall’s long-standing ability to gold-plate any form of regulation, cross-compliance lives on!

What has the Government decided to call their through-the-back-door statutory regulations? Enter, Rules for Farmers and Land Managers.

The headings are almost identical to those we saw as GAEC1/7e and SMR1/13 under cross-compliance, a simple internet search of Rules for Farmers and Land Managers reveals all.

Of note, the Government said “when parliamentary time allows” they would enshrine the hedgerow parts into Law, which they have done. On 23rd May 2024, The Management of Hedgerows (England) Regulations 2024 was born.

It’s not clear where the beloved two metre watercourse margin has gone, but it will be somewhere. So are: Keeping livestock, animal welfare, environment, manage land, pest control, applying products, plants, seeds, landscape features, trees, woodland, water, wastes, composts, animal feeds.

Cross-compliance underpinned circa £233/ha in guaranteed subsidy. Now it will become law. I have a view, that de-regulation will not happen. Governments do have a carrot and a stick. Usually, the carrot is a grant funding scheme, the stick is the regulation that follows.

Don’t get caught out, the safest way to operate is to carry on doing what you did for cross-compliance, and you won’t go far wrong.

Contact your local Agricultural Business Consultancy to discuss your options.

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