12 September 1997

Arable guide easier

MAFFS latest guide to the arable area payment scheme is easier to understand and includes new rules on the production of non-food crops on set-aside land.

"This years guide is more farmer friendly because it uses simpler language and helps reduce some of the administrative paperwork," said junior farm minister Elliot Morley at this weeks Cultivations 97 event at Shuttleworth, Beds.

New rules on the production of non-food crops on set-aside land allow contracts to be signed after sowing and do not require the inclusion of parcel details of crop varieties. There is also greater flexibility for amending contracts.

Farmers who grow oilseed rape and linseed on set-aside land will have to ensure that the told harvest delivered to collectors and processors equates to at least a base yield fixed by MAFF before harvest.

Farmers who entered into a non-food contract before Aug 10, 1997 may continue with that contract and the previous rules continue to apply.

A MAFF spokesperson said that appeals procedure is being considered (Arable Supplement, Sept 5). &#42