Derogation call for EFA catch crops 20 August deadline

The NFU has asked Defra to seek a derogation for farmers unable to establish ecological focus area (EFA) catch crops by the 20 August deadline because of the hot, dry weather.

Defra has acknowledged the concerns and will be speaking to the EU Commission later this week on the matter, says the union.

See also: Key cross-compliance and greening dates by region

While this year the weather is likely to be the main barrier to correct establishment, common issues with catch crops include farmers simply forgetting their commitment made on the BPS claim form, says the NFU’s senior BPS adviser Richard Wordsworth.

Establishment means a crop must not simply have emerged but must be established to a level that fulfils the soil protection requirement for which it was sown, says Mr Wordsworth. With only a few hot dry weeks left until 20 August, this would prove tricky for many growers.

The EFA catch crop rules can be found in the BPS 2018 handbook on 

The NFU says it is important to read this guidance, as the EFA catch crop rules have changed for 2018.