3-crop rule derogation likely to be granted

It is likely that a derogation regarding the three-crop rule will be granted, a statement from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has explained.

The department has reportedly put forward a “strong case” to the European Commission seeking a derogation in relation to the crop diversification obligations for the 2018 scheme year.

Speculation surrounding the derogation has been ongoing in recent weeks. This afternoon the department issued a statement to clarify the situation.

We are confident that the case being made meets the relevant standards, as set out in the regulations, for such an exemption.

“A number of member states have recently been granted such an exemption due to difficult weather in the autumn/winter of 2017.

“Whilst formal approval from the commission for the Irish derogation is now awaited, the advice from the department is that, where alternative crop options are not available to allow farmers to be compliant with crop diversification rules, growers can make crop choices that best suit their current situation – even if this leaves them non-compliant with the crop diversification rules,” the statement said.

Speaking to AgriLand recently, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, said: “I’ve spoken to the commissioner and what we have got effectively is a sign-off at a political level; the detail has to be worked through the commission.

“Time is critical for tillage farmers who need to get on with their business. I’m confident we can work through the detail. The signal is that the three-crop requirement for 2018 is no longer applicable.”