Some farmers and land owners have taken advantage of the derogation from Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (GAEC) 7a, permitting the cutting of hedges before 31 of August, but due to wet weather have not been able to either sow temporary grass or oilseed rape as was required in August to meet the derogation requirements. The RPA has said that farmers in this situation may be able to claim force majeure rules, meaning occurrences beyond the reasonable control of the party such as wet weather, to be considered for these instances. Farmers that are effected should write and provide relevant evidence within 15 working days of whenever they were certain they could not be able to sow temporary grass or oilseed rape during August. This gives a deadline of 21 of September.
The Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) along with other farming organisations (NFU/CLA) urge anyone who applied for this derogation and who has not been able to sow either temporary grass or oilseed rape to consider whether the force majeure rules apply to their case.
If you would like any further advice on this or any other Cross Compliance issues, please contact Douglas Godwin on 01386 761176. The deadline will be very strict for this ruling.