Cross-compliance

    Subsidies: Cross-Compliance

    Practical Subsidy Issues

    Cross-compliance guidance is only available electronically this year.  There are relatively few changes and few of significance for most farmers.  The cross-compliance guidance can be downloaded here (from the Defra website). 

    Penalties rise steeply, where there has already been a cross-compliance failure so it is important to make sure that compliance is met.  The proposed risk based inspection system will dramatically increase pressure on those farms that have failed an inspection.

    Some of changes are listed below.

    • GAEC 1 Soil Protection Review (SPR): This needs to be updated as at the first of January.  It is one of the main reasons for cross compliance failure on arable land.  Many farmers might need to consider changes to their SPR following the wet weather.
    • GAEC 5 Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA): Changes emphasise that an EIA for forestry projects may be required if impact on the environment is significant, even if work is below the stated thresholds for an assessment.
    • GAEC 6 Sites of Special Scientific Interest: Changes in the wording are made following the removal of overlap between the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 and Wildlife and Countryside Act.  There is no material change in the requirement.
    • GAEC 12 Agricultural land not in production: ’Scrub’ now added to rank vegetation in the description.
    • GAEC 15 Hedgerows: Clarification of exemption for removal of hedges around dwellings.
    • SMR 1 Wild birds - see GAEC 6
    • SMR 2 Groundwater: The Groundwater regulation (SMR 2) change is significant and rather than meet the conditions of an environmental permit for a groundwater activity issued by the Environment Agency a much more robust paragraph has been added.  You must now “obtain a permit from the Environment Agency before carrying out, causing or knowingly permitting the discharge of any hazardous substance (for example used/waste sheep dip, pesticide washings, solvents, mineral oil and diesel) or non-hazardous pollutants (for example sewage, trade effluent, certain biocides.)”
    • SMR 5 Habitats and Species- see GAEC 6
    • SMR 6 Pig identification: AML2 documents can no longer be used when moving animals.
    • SMR 9 Restrictions on the use of plant protection products: Changes largely reflect existing UK law.  In practice, the changes simply reinforce the need to adhere to the product label and the “possibilities for cultural and biological control.”
    • SMR 10 substances having hormonal or thyrostatic action and beta-agonists: Exemptions updated.
    • SMR 11 Food and Feed law: There are also substantial changes to SMR 11 on Food and Feed Law.  Pest control of storage areas is brought into cross compliance.  Action following analytical results and official inspections also clearly becomes part of cross-compliance.  The guidance is not absolutely clear on the need to periodically clean on-farm feed transport systems and equipment as a result of the partial qualifier “in particular when used to deliver and distribute medicated feed”.  There are other changes that may be of relevance particularly to dairy farmers.
    • SMR 17 Welfare of pigs: Rules for female pigs are extended to all holdings.
     
     

    Key contacts

    Andrew Wraith

    Andrew Wraith

    Director
    Food & Farming

    Savills Lincoln

    +44 (0) 1522 508 973

    +44 (0) 1522 508 973

     

    Steve Hollis

    Steve Hollis

    Director
    Food & Farming

    Savills Salisbury

    +44 (0) 1722 426 853

    +44 (0) 1722 426 853

     

    Keith Preston

    Keith Preston

    Director
    Food & Farming

    Savills Oxford

    +44 (0) 1865 269 170

    +44 (0) 1865 269 170

     

    Ashley Lilley

    Ashley Lilley

    Director
    Food & Farming

    Savills Cheltenham

    +44 (0) 1242 548 012

    +44 (0) 1242 548 012

     

    Giles Hanglin

    Giles Hanglin

    Director
    Rural Research

    Savills Margaret Street

    +44 (0) 207 016 3786

    +44 (0) 207 016 3786