20th Mar



The Tenant Farmers Association (TFA), is delighted with today’s announcement from the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) that the crop diversification rules under the Basic Payment Scheme (known as the three-crop rule) are to be relaxed and there will be a further £6 million fund for farmers impacted by the wet winter.

TFA National Chairman, Mark Coulman, said “The change in the ‘3-crop rule’ is great news. The TFA has called multiple times for this rule to be urgently relaxed, as many thousands of farmers across the country have been affected by the recent storms and unable to get onto their land to plant crops. It really shows that the Government is listening to and taking account of people who have been hit so badly by the atrocious weather”.

Today’s press release from the RPA acknowledges that with large swathes of farmland in England under floodwater for most of February, the Government must take steps to relax the crop diversification rules through seeking to adopt Regulations through Parliament. This means those who are unable to access their flooded land to plant crops will not be unfairly penalised.

“I am grateful to the Government for its consideration for the difficult position everyone is in. The TFA along with other farming organisations have been lobbying hard for a long time for this result, we are very glad to see that common sense has prevailed. We understand that many of our members are affected so we hope now this will provide relief to those farmers,” said Mr Coulman.

The RPA also announced a £6 million pot of funding to help farmers recover from flooding in February. This will be provided through a further extension to the Farming Recovery Fund. Support will now be available for farmers affected by recent flooding in parts of East and North Yorkshire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Nottinghamshire and Herefordshire.

“It is good to see that even when the Government’s focus is somewhere else, it is still able to react and manage things which are seen as less of a priority now that it has the serious task of trying to tackle Covid-19,” said Mr Coulman”.


Ref: MR 20/13

Date: 20 March 2020

Notes for Editors:

To read the full press release from the RPA please click here.

The Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) in England since 2015 has always stipulated that:

1. If a farmer has between 10 and 30 hectares of arable land at least two different crops must be grown on that land and the largest crop must not cover more than 75% of that arable land.

2. If a farmer has more than 30 hectares of arable land then at least three different crops must be grown on that land and the largest crop must not cover more than 75% of that arable land and the two largest crops together must not cover more than 95% of that arable land.

For media enquiries contact Julia Meadows, TFA Communications and Events Co-ordinator on 0118 930 6130 or 07887 777157.

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