3-crop rule back in action for the 2018/2019 season

Tillage farmers are currently planning crop acreages and varieties for the coming season. Last season, a derogation from the three-crop rule was granted on account of the harsh winter and wet spring.

Farmers struggled to plant winter crops in 2017 and this continued for spring cropping. As a result of the derogation, farmers focused their attention on spring crops to fill the gap left in winter cropping.

An increase was seen in the acreages of spring barley (+7%), maize (+40%) and beet (+9%) in 2018, while the area planted under winter cereals decreased.

However, the three-crop rule is back in effect for the 2018/2019 season.

A statement from the Department of Agriculture said: “The derogation from the crop diversification obligations (two and three-crop rule) in 2018 was granted due to the very late and wet spring.

The basis for the derogation was that the weather impacted the crop options available to farmers.

While the crop diversification obligations might be subject to change in the new CAP (Common Agricultural Policy), for now, normal service is resumed.

This exemption applied only to 2018.

“Farmers with more than 30ha of arable land in 2019 will be required to grow three crops, with the main crop not exceeding 75% and the two main crops not exceeding 95% of the arable area.

“Growers with between 10ha and 30ha are required to have two crops with the main crop not exceeding 75%,” the department said.