By FWi staff

FARMERS rushing to beat the 15 May deadline for IACS returns should take note of some recent amendments to the scheme.

It has now been confirmed that the latest sowing date for crops claiming IACS payments has been extended to 15 June. Producers will also be able to alter the balance between set-aside, cropping and forage up until this date.

MAFF has also announced a derogation for foot-and-mouth affected farms not to have to maintain crops to flowering if they need to utilise them for forage or grazing.

This move does not, as yet, apply to farms where there have been no foot-and-mouth problems or those which have been hit by wet weather.

Despite pressure from stock farmers claiming under the extensification scheme, there has been no increase in the 0.8 livestock co-efficient.

At present, while the country is under movement restrictions, only 80% of livestock units count towards stocking rate calculations.

However, this may still not be sufficient to offset the increase in livestock units when animals go over the two year threshold, says Edward Morgan of the Laurence Gould Partnership.

In this situation livestock units per animal will rise from 0.6LU to 2LU.