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Scottish farmers given last-minute reprieve from three-crop rule

The three-crop rule will be ditched for 2021.
The three-crop rule will be ditched for 2021.

A better late than never exemption to the three-crop rule was granted yesterday by Europe to help farmers who are struggling to meet sowing deadlines.

EU Farm Commissioner, Phil Hogan, announced the derogation following appeals by Defra, Scottish Government and the farmers unions in mid-April.

Cold, wet conditions worked against ground preparations and planting this spring and followed reduced plantings as a result of difficult conditions in the autumn. This made it almost impossible for Scottish farmers to meet the three-crop rule condition.

NFU Scotland president, Andrew McCornick, said: “Although we are deep into the planting season, a derogation from the three-crop requirement may yet make a difference to some of our farmers. It is already so late for some parts of the country, that fallow may be a more economic option than planting.”

Farmers must still meet all other elements of greening rules, such as the need for Ecological Focus Areas.

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