The first in a series of videos by Michael Hennessy, Teagasc Tillage specialist discusses the new CAP reform and greening and how it might affect you.

Under the new CAP reform, in addition to the basic payment scheme, each holding will receive a payment per hectare for respecting certain agricultural practices beneficial for the climate and the environment. Member States will use 30% of their national envelope in order to pay for this. This is compulsory and failure to respect the Greening requirements will result in penalties which go beyond the Greening payment, i.e. after a transition offenders will also lose up to 125% of their Greening payment.

The three basic measures are:

  • maintaining permanent grassland;
  • crop diversification (a farmer must cultivate at least 2 crops when his arable land exceeds 10 hectares and at least three crops when his arable land exceeds 30 hectares. The main crop may cover at most 75% of arable land, and the two main crops at most 95% of the arable area); and,
  • maintaining an “ecological focus area” of at least 5% of the arable area of the holding for farms with an area larger than 15 hectares (excluding permanent grassland) – i.e. field margins, hedges, trees, fallow land, landscape features, biotopes, buffer strips, afforested area. This figure will rise to 7% after a Commission report in 2017 and a legislative proposal.