CAP Reform Rules will Destroy Future Permanent Pasture

As a working farm with fields sown to grass within the last 5 years for hay and haylage crop, I am very concerned about the proposed CAP permanent pasture rules. If I move into permanent pasture on these fields under the current rules I am able to grow arable and non grass crops, but may if the UK loses more than 10% of its permanent pasture be required to return these fields to grass for permanent pasture. I can accept that, however under the proposed new CAP rules, if I allow these fields to move into permanent pasture then never again can my farm have the flexibility of alternative arable crops to fit in with varying livestock regimes. This is so restrictive and will cause the farm to be valued lower than a flexible crop farm, therefore I have no alternative but to rapidly plough up all prospective permanent pasture, put it in arable and break the cycle.It is obvious to see all prospective permanent pasture farmers in Europe doing the same thus destroying all the good stored up.As a matter of urgency the EU needs to protect VERY HIGH VALUE permanent pasture with its new rules but revert to the current rules for pastures sown mechanicaly for feed or suffer a massive plough up in the next few months.URGENT attention to this detail is needed.

2 comments posted

  • Anon December 22nd, 2011

    Toby – Member states are at liberty to manage permanent pasture in a very flexible way. Most member states have decided not to manage the maintenance of the national proportion at farm/field level – instead, they’ve used a derogation from the full rules to manage it. This means that it is treated as a “common good”, no one is responsible, and everyone loses if someone doesn’t respect it. Two member states (NL, BE-VL) do manage this at farm/parcel level and as such under such a system, you would not be threatened by this. So it is very much up to the MS concerned to find the solution to the problem you pose – it is not, in my opinion, an issue with the reform, it is member state implementation creating the difficulty.

  • Daye Tucker Carbeth Home Farm June 6th, 2012

    How often have we heard that it is up to the Member State to implement this or that EU measure in a flexible way. The reality is that the one size fits all EU solutions, like light, travel faster than sound. It’s too late by the time the EU auditor fearing MS bureaucrats even begin to contemplate flexibility, farmers at the coalface have already anticipated the threat and begun the mass plough. When will Brussels learn that farmers decisions can more effectively be guided by the carrot rather than the stick approach? If Brussels and its citizens value permanent pasture then they should reward those farm businesses which integrate it as part of their farm system.

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12 Dec 2011


Toby Everett


By Toby Everett, Farmer at Everett