Department confirms 3-crop rule for 2020/2021 season

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has confirmed to AgriLand that the crop diversification requirements (two and three-crop rules) will remain in place for the 2020/2021 season.

In a statement to AgriLand the department noted: “The derogation to the crop diversification obligations that was granted in early 2020 was a limited derogation due to the very difficult weather in the autumn of 2019 and spring of 2020.

For 2021 the crop diversification obligations will revert to the standard two and three-crop rules.

“For farmers with more than 10ha of arable land, but less than 30ha, at least two crops must be grown. For those with more than 30ha at least three crops must be grown.

“Along with the number of crops farmers must also ensure that the main crop does not exceed 75% of the arable area and, for those required to grow more than two crops, that the two main crops do not exceed 95%,” the statement concluded.

The clarity on the rule at the early stage of the season is welcome as farmers plan ahead for 2020/2021. At present many tillage farmers are ordering seed and planning rotations.

Farmers will be planting and some may have already planted cover crops and will begin to plant oilseed rape in the coming month.