Introduction and updates

Date published: 24 January, 2018

For recent changes to this guidance, please see the bottom of the page.

This guidance is effective from 1 January, 2018.

This guidance provides details on the three Greening elements of the Common Agricultural Policy and should be read in conjunction with the guidance for the Basic Payment Scheme and Cross Compliance.

Please ensure that you read all the relevant elements of this updated guidance (including the annexes) if you are intending to apply under the Basic Payment Scheme.

Scheme and other changes for 2018

Further to the changes listed below due to the EC Simplification Agenda, we have also had changes to Greening from the latest EU Regulation – the Omnibus Regulation published 13 December, 2017.

The compulsory changes introduced from 24 January, 2018 are:

  • Crop diversification exemption changes – the inclusion of leguminous crops and the removal of the 30 hectare arable limit
  • Ecological Focus Area exemption changes – the removal of the 30 hectare arable limit
  • Crop diversification – Spring Spelt and Winter Spelt (Triticum spelta) to be added as new distinct crops
  • Nitrogen fixing crops weighting increased from 0.7 to 1.0.

It was announced by the Minister that a number of changes to the Greening rules will be introduced from 22 August, 2017 for 2018.

Additionally, a list of potential changes to greening were identified under the EC Simplification Agenda, which have now been confirmed by the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/1155.

The following list highlights the changes which are detailed in the Greening booklet under the appropriate EFA section:

  • 1. hedges will be a separate EFA option - EFA hedges
  • 2. agro-forestry established since 2015 under FGS (Pillar 2) on BPS eligible, arable land in 2015 will be a separate EFA option - EFA agro-forestry
  • 3. maintenance of drainage on EFA fallow - EFA fallow
  • 4. the introduction of a compulsory ban on Plant Protection Products on EFA fallow, EFA nitrogen fixing crops, EFA catch crops and EFA green cover, subject to certain flexibilities EFA fallow, EFA nitrogen fixing crops, EFA catch crops - , EFA green cover
  • 5. changes to EFA eligibility/location. Introduce a new definition of 'adjacent' when considering whether EFA features are 'on or adjacent to arable land', necessary for them to qualify as EFA - Where can I put my EFA?
  • 6. changes to catch crop and green cover options. Setting a new minimum duration period for the retention of catch crop and green cover to meet the EFA option requirements. Remove the deadlines given in the Regulation for the sowing of catch crop and green cover - EFA catch crops, EFA green cover
  • 7. changes to the EFA Nitrogen fixing crops option - EFA nitrogen fixing crops
  • 8. a new option of EFA Margin will be introduced which will amalgamate the previous EFA field margin and EFA buffer strip options - EFA margins

In this guidance:

Recent changes

Section Change
Main textUpdated on 24 January due to new omnibus regulations, which were published by the EU in December, 2017.

Previous versions