Member States have recently adopted a series of support measures proposed by the Commission to alleviate the financial difficulties faced by farmers due to adverse climatic conditions and to increase the availability of animal feed.
The measures agreed by Member States at a committee meeting include the possibility of granting higher advances and a number of exceptional derogations from environmental standards to help farmers provide sufficient feed for their animals. Affected farmers will be able to receive a higher percentage of their Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) payments to improve their cash flow. This includes:
- Receiving up to 70% of your direct payments by mid-October;
- And they will receive 85% of their rural development payments as soon as the package is formally adopted in early September.
Derogations from certain greening rules will also be allowed to increase the availability of feed. This includes the possibility of:
- Consider fallow land as a distinct crop or as an area of ecological focus even if it has been grazed or harvested;
- Plant “catch crops” as “pure crops” (and not as a mixture of crops, as currently prescribed) if they are intended for grazing or fodder production;
- Shorten the minimum period of eight weeks for “intermediate crops” so that farmers can sow their winter crops in time after their “intermediate crops”.
Following the decision, this package of measures should be formally adopted at the beginning of September. The Commission will continue to liaise with all Member States on the impact of the drought.
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