Existing dual-use agreements to stay, farmers told

Farmers and landowners who hold dual-use agreements have been told they can maintain their existing arrangements.

Defra announced it would continue the agreement where two different beneficiaries can receive support for different CAP schemes on the same piece of land.

The most common situation for the agreements is in farm tenancies, where the landlord can claim agro-environment payments while the tenant claims the single farm payment.

See also: CAP reform at-a-glance guide for UK’s regions

Defra is set to release full details of the decision in its next CAP leaflet, expected in October, but is telling the industry now to assist people signing tenancy agreements before the end of September.

The NFU said the decision had taken some time as ministers had needed to weigh-up the risks of disallowance against the environmental outcomes which can be delivered through the schemes.

Union president Meurig Raymond said the decision would give farmers and growers the flexibility and certainty they need to plan for next year.

“For farm tenants it means current tenancy arrangements do not need to be changed and secures farmers good environmental activity through environmental schemes,” he added.

“We would now urge the government to make a timely decision for farmers and growers applying to enter the New Environmental Land Management Scheme in 2016.”

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