The 2018 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) guidance booklet for England was released on the 13th March. The following changes from the 2017 rules now apply:

  • It is no longer possible to cultivate EFA fallow land unless it is under a specific requirement for a rural development grant scheme.
  • Fallow land that is declared as fallow for five consecutive years will automatically convert to permanent grassland.
  • The multiplier for EFA nitrogen fixing crops has been increased from 0.7 to 1.
  • From 2018 a claimant who has more than 75% eligible agricultural land in permanent or temporary grassland, or more than 75% of the arable land in fallow or temporary grassland, will now be exempt from a greening requirement regardless of their remaining area of arable land.
  • Spelt Wheat now has its own land use code.
  • A ban is imposed on all plant protection products on Ecological Focus Areas (EFA).
  • The EFA option for hedges has been extended to include trees in a line.
  • EFA buffer strip options have been extended in definition to include field margins.
  • EFA catchment crops must be maintained for a minimum of eight weeks starting on the 20th August 2018 and retained until at least the 14th October 2018.
  • The definition of EFA nitrogen fixing crops has now been extended.
  • There are changes to Crop Diversification & Ecological Focus Areas (EFA) penalty calculations.
  • These are now additional administrative Greening Administrative Penalties introduced for the first time in 2017.

See here for more detailed information of these changes.