DEFRA urged to review flax aid

DEFRA SHOULD review how it treats flax crops as part of the single farm payment, according to one Cornish farmer.

Under current rules, only subsidies paid for flax grown during 2001 and 2002 will count towards calculating the historic portion of the SFP.

This means those who grew the crop in 2000 will lose out when they average their payments over the three years.

The farmer, who did not want to be named, grew almost 20ha (50 acres) of flax in 2000, with 13ha (32 acres) on IACS-registered land.

He estimated that he would lose about £5000 over the first four or five years of the SFP.

DEFRA‘s justification for excluding 2000 crops from SFP calculations is that flax was not part of the arable area aid payment scheme then, and any subsidy received was under a different scheme via flax processors.

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