NFU Scotland calls for clearer CAP details

NFU Scotland has accused the Scottish government of burying crucial details on CAP greening.

Union officials were left red-faced after they called for clarification of greening details on Monday 11 August only to be told the government had already published the information online a week earlier.

The NFUS accused the government of being disingenuous for putting the details out without first alerting the union.

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

While it welcomed additional detail, NFUS added that the government had a duty to alert farmers to new information being published.

“Cereals farmers don’t have time in the middle of harvest to trawl through websites to see if there’s any new information there,” a spokesman said.

“And what about people who don’t have access to the internet?”

The clarifications were on nitrogen-fixing crops and buffer-strips.

The spokesman said there were still a number of questions which farmers needed answering so they could make proper management decisions, including rules around fallow ground and what catch crops would be eligible for ecological focus areas (EFAs).

“Let us know properly what the rules are,” he added.

“Farm minister Richard Lochhead said he’d be writing to us to let us know the detail. To do it in this way is disingenuous.”

A Scottish government spokeswoman said the government was releasing information to farmers and crofters as quickly as possible and that Richard Lochhead would write to producers shortly to explain the changes.

“We still need clarification from the EU on some important issues such as catch and cover crops and we are currently in the process of finalising the management conditions for nitrogen fixing crops in the EFA,” she added.

See more