Wales: BPS 2020 – Wet Weather and Crop Diversfication

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Rural Payments Wales (RPW) has provided us with the update below regarding the recent flooding and ongoing wet weather and crop diversification requirements for BPS 2020 applications.

RPW will consider any requests from farmers unable to fulfill their Crop Diversification obligations on a case by case basis, and would urge affected farmers to submit their request, and evidence, using their RPW Online account, as soon as possible.

Farmers should consider the following issues:

1. Force majeure/ Exceptional Circumstances are defined as abnormal and unforeseeable circumstances outside of the farmer’s control, the consequences of which, in spite of the exercise of all due care, could not have been avoided without excessive sacrifice.

2. If the wet weather and resultant ground conditions are preventing farmers from meeting Crop Diversification obligations, they must inform RPW within 15 working days from the date in which they are in a position to do so.

3. Farmers need to provide evidence why the wet weather prevents them from meeting Crop Diversification obligations. This could include:

  • Evidence of their original cropping plans for 2020
  • Photographs showing the field conditions. Ideally these should be geo-tagged (date stamped and contain reference features that can be related to a map) to confirm the date and position the photograph was taken
  • Crop records including drilling dates, if applicable
  • Seed invoices supported by delivery notes
  • Letters from suppliers unable to supply the seed required
  • Rainfall data, related to the farm or local area, showing rain was exceptional during the period when they would normally be drilling or planting crops
  • Evidence of soil types in the affected field(s).

The alternatives to consider in addition to the force majeure approach laid out above include: whether the available greening exemptions apply; and, if they do not, whether the land can be declared as fallow as a separate “crop” for crop diversification purposes.