28 April 1998
Government presses Brussels to delay crop-planting deadline
THE UK Government has written to Brussels asking for the deadline for farmers planting arable crops to be delayed to 31 May following the wettest April on record.
If a delay is not granted, farmers could lose valuable subsidies at a time when farm incomes have plummeted.
The Welsh Office published figures yesterday which showed farm incomes in the region had declined 45% last year to £141 million. Farmers in parts of Wales, Yorkshire and East Anglia have been unable to plant spring crops because of saturated ground. Crops only attract European Union arable aid payments if planted by 15 May.
Farmers need to know by the middle of this week to be able to plan. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) has pressed for a speedy response.
- Financial Times 28/04/98 page 10