3-crop rule needs to go for this season

IFA Grain Committee chairman Mark Browne has called for a derogation on the ‘three-crop rule’ under greening obligations, in light of the terrible weather conditions this year.

Very little spring sowing has been done so far this season, as persistent rain has led to unworkable ground conditions. Winter cereal plantings were also down as weather hampered sowing in October and November.

Many farmers now have less winter crops in; a number of them will have tried to sow spring beans, wheat and oats this spring, but very few have been able to so far.

Time is running out to sow these crops, as well as for spring oilseed rape. Spring barley is beginning to be the ‘go to’ option on farms and farmers will now struggle to meet the three-crop rule requirement.

Impossible to plant crops

He said the weather conditions are making it impossible to plant crops, saying: “Very little sowing was done during the winter. It’s April now and the rain is still coming, making it impossible to get any sowing done.

Farmers are under extreme pressure, as time is running out to sow some crops, such as oats, beans and spring wheat.

“While fallow is an option under the scheme, it is not an option for farmers who need to ensure they can achieve a product and an income this year,” Browne added.

The difficulties being experienced by farmers have been discussed by the IFA Grain Committee, which is calling on Minister Creed to engage with the EU Commission and Commissioner Phil Hogan to seek a derogation for this year, the chairman said.