BPS 2018 – Temporary relaxation of EFA Winter Green Cover rules announced
England and the EU commission have agreed the following temporary relaxations to EFA Winter Green Cover rules to assist in the availability of fodder following this year’s drought conditions.
- areas under green cover may be established without sowing the mixture of crop species as detailed in the guidance, if the crops sown instead are grasses or other herbaceous forage
- areas under green cover may include areas under winter crops which are sown in autumn normally for harvesting for forage or for grazing (including fodder crops that do not meet the ‘herbaceous forage’ definition)
- where a cover crop has been established to meet the requirements set out in the guidance (un-harvestable mixture of at least 2 crops chosen from the permitted list), the minimum mandatory period for which the cover must be maintained is reduced to 4 weeks from the date of sowing, as long as a winter crop is sown afterwards and this period will end on 29th October 2018. Otherwise the cover crop must remain until 15 January, as set out in the guidance
The RPA must receive derogation requests by the 19th October 2018. More details on how to apply for the derogation are available from www.gov.uk/government/news/derogation-from-some-ecological-focus-areas.