MANY LIVESTOCK producers could risk losing single farm payment because they remain unaware that for the first time they need to set-aside land in 2005.

Changes to the area on which set-aside calculations are based, which apply to England, but not Scotland or Wales, are confusing, warns Francis Mordaunt, of Andersons. But land required for set-aside, even on units that have not had set-aside before, should have been calculated and allocated by Jan 15.

Many livestock producers also have more temporary grass which needs to be included in 2005 calculations than they realise, according to David Winnard, of the Laurence Gould Partnership. “The old Arable Area Payments Scheme eligibility is not relevant in England from 2005 onwards. But to identify the areas which need to be included old IACS forms should help.”

Rules for the area needed to be set aside are complex. But, basically, it includes all land to be included in the SFP in 2005, with the exception of permanent pasture or permanent crops, he explains.

“Land which was under permanent crops on May 15, 2003 is not eligible for set-aside. When land was classified as arable in 2003 but will have been under grass or permanent crops for more than five years by 2005, it will also not be eligible for set-aside.”

This means temporary grass leys on land cropped with an arable crop in the last five years including in the area for which set-aside applies is allocated.

 For further information on set-aside, see p29.