Changes to cross compliance in 2015 published
The guide to cross compliance in England 2015 has been published by Defra. Farmers should read all of the guidance to make sure they fully understand the rules and how they apply to their holding.
The main changes include:
- From 2015 the paper-based Soil Protection Review will no longer be required. Instead farmers with have to adhere to detailed soil protection standards. We recommend hanging on to your completed 2014 SPR as a record of best practice.
- GAEC 11 (control of weeds) has been removed (though of course the Weeds Act of 1959 is still in existence).
- GAEC 12 (agricultural land which is not in agricultural production) has been removed. BPS claimants will instead have to manage agricultural land to ensure it is free of dense scrub.
- Several SMRs have been removed, including those dealing with sewage sludge and the control of certain animal diseases.
- Some rules have been removed from the SMR for wild birds.
- The rule on sustainable use has been removed from SMR 10 (plant protection products).
- Under a new GAEC 7, rules for landscape features have been changed. This includes a longer no-trimming season for trees and hedges, running from 1 March to 31 August inclusive.
The full cross compliance documents for 2015, which include a separate document detailing the soil protection standards, can be found by clicking here.