EFA catch and cover crops must be established for BPS 2020

Farmers who included catch or cover crops on their 2020 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) application to meet the 5% Ecological Focus Area (EFA) requirement do still need to establish the options as planned.

The NFU has highlighted that the recent announcement about the removal of greening rules applies only from the 2021 scheme year.

“It is important to note that the greening rules for the 2020 BPS scheme year remain in place and unchanged from previous announcements,” it said.

See also: Greening measures to be scrapped for 2021, says Defra

“This is particularly critical for those that have opted for EFA catch and cover crops on their 2020 applications and are still required to comply with those declarations on the ground.”

The rules state that EFA catch crops must be established by 20 August and retained until at least 14 October.

EFA cover crops must be established by 1 October and retained until at least 15 January 2021.

Farmers must also retain other EFA features, such as buffer strips, field margins and hedges and trees until the end of the year.

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