Tillage farmers ‘won’t have any problem with the 3-crop rule’

Tillage farmers have been assured that a derogation will be secured with regards to the three-crop rule in 2018.

The EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, assured members of the Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine as well as members of the Committee on Rural and Community Development that there will be no problem securing the derogation.

The paperwork will be completed by May 29; the paperwork will be fine. No member state has objected, to date, in relation to what we are trying to do.

“So I don’t think there will be any difficulty. I know you got the official position from the Department of Agriculture about this, and it has to do that,” he said.

The commissioner urged tillage farmers to forge ahead with their work and added that they will “not have any problem with the three-crop rule” this year.

In recent days, the Department of Agriculture issued a statement indicating that a derogation regarding the three-crop rule is likely to be granted.

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.