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The Common Agricultural Policy (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2018

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Citation and commencement

1.  These Regulations may be cited as the Common Agricultural Policy (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2018 and come into force on 15th May 2018.

Amendments to the Common Agricultural Policy (Direct Payments etc.) (Scotland) Regulations 2015

2.  The Common Agricultural Policy (Direct Payments etc.) (Scotland) Regulations 2015(1) are amended in accordance with regulations 3 to 12.

3.  In regulation 2(1) (interpretation), for the definition of “arable land” substitute—

“arable land” means land mentioned in Article 4(1)(h) of the Direct Payments Regulation and includes parcels of land which prior to 1st January 2018 were lying fallow(2) and, subject to regulation 5(2)(c), continue to lie fallow on or after that date;.

4.  For regulation 5 (definition of permanent grassland) substitute—

Definition of permanent grassland

5.(1) For the purposes of—

(a)the following provisions of the Direct Payments Regulation—

(i)Article 4(1)(h);

(ii)Article 4(2), second sub-paragraph; and

(iii)Article 4(2), point (a) of the third sub-paragraph; and

(b)Article 7 of the Direct Payments Delegated Regulation,

permanent grassland includes land to which paragraph (2) applies.

(2) This paragraph applies to—

(a)land which can be grazed and forms part of established local practices where grasses and other herbaceous forage are traditionally not predominant in grazing areas;

(b)other than land to which sub-paragraph (c) applies, land which has not been ploughed up for 5 years or more, provided it is used to grow grasses or other herbaceous forage naturally (self-seeded) or through cultivation (sown) and has not been included in the crop rotation for five years or more; or

(c)land which, in accordance with the second sentence of the second sub-paragraph of Article 4(1) of the Direct Payments Regulation—

(i)constitutes parcels of land lying fallow prior to 1st January 2018; and

(ii)on or after 1st January 2023 meets the conditions for permanent grassland as set out in Article 4(1)(h) of that Regulation.

(3) In paragraph (2)(b), “established local practices” means the practice of grazing by livestock of non-herbaceous plants (excluding algae)..

5.  For regulation 8 (reductions) substitute—

Reductions

8(1) This regulation applies for the purposes of Article 11(1) of the Direct Payments Regulation in respect of direct payments to a farmer pursuant to Chapter 1 of Title III of that Regulation for a given calendar year.

(2) Where the direct payments to be granted exceed EUR 150,000 for a given calendar year, the sum in excess of that amount must be reduced by the Scottish Ministers by 5 per cent.

(3) In addition to the reduction applied in accordance with paragraph (2), where the direct payments to be granted exceed EUR 600,000 for calendar year 2018 or any subsequent calendar year, the sum in excess of that amount must be reduced by the Scottish Ministers by 100 per cent..

6.  For regulation 9(4) (transfer of payment entitlements) substitute—

(4) For the purposes of Article 26 of the Direct Payments Delegated Regulation—

(a)in relation to an application in respect of the basic payment scheme in respect of a calendar year prior to 2018, 50 per cent of the annual unit value of each payment entitlement transferred without land reverts to the national reserve; and

(b)in relation to an application in respect of the basic payment scheme in respect of calendar year 2018 or any subsequent calendar year, 30 per cent of the annual unit value of each payment entitlement transferred without land reverts to the national reserve..

7.  For regulation 10 (young farmers) substitute—

Young farmers

10.(1) For the purposes of the second sub-paragraph of Article 50(5) of the Direct Payments Regulation, where a young farmer has set up in accordance with Article 50(2)(a) of that Regulation during the relevant period, the five-year payment period referred to in the first sub-paragraph of Article 50(5) of that Regulation is to be reduced by the number of complete calendar years which have elapsed between the date of set up and the first submission of an application for a payment for young farmers.

(2) For the purposes of the payment calculation required by Article 50(6) of the Direct Payments Regulation, the number of entitlements a young farmer has activated in accordance with Article 32(1) of that Regulation must be multiplied by 25 per cent of the average value of the owned or leased-in payment entitlements held by the farmer.

(3) For the purposes of Article 50(9) of the Direct Payments Regulation, a single maximum limit of 90 hectares is applicable to the number of payment entitlements activated by a young farmer.

(4) In paragraph (1) “relevant period” means the period beginning 1st January 2010 and ending 31st December 2013..

8.  Omit regulation 12 (active farmers).

9.  In regulation 18 (ecological focus areas)—

(a)in paragraph (1), after “(d) (buffer strips),” insert “(e) (hectares of agro-forestry),”;

(b)in paragraph (2), for “field margins as listed in point (e)” substitute “hedges, wooded strips or trees in line as listed in point (a)”;

(c)for paragraph (3) substitute—

(3) For the purposes of the third sub-paragraph of Article 45(5) of the Direct Payments Delegated Regulation, the minimum width of—

(a)buffer strips, other than buffer strips along watercourses required under GAEC 1, SMR 1 or SMR 10, is 2 metres; and

(b)field margins is 1 metre.

(3A) For the purposes of the second sub-paragraph of Article 45(10a) of the Direct Payments Delegated Regulation, cutting is permitted on buffer strips and field margins provided the buffer strip or field margin remains distinguishable from adjacent agricultural land.;

(d)for paragraph (5) substitute—

(5) For the purposes of the second sub-paragraph of Article 45(9) of the Direct Payments Delegated Regulation—

(a)areas under catch crops must be established by under-sowing grass in the main crop provided that the grass and the main crop are sown during the period beginning on 15th February and ending on 15th June in any calendar year and not harvested before 31st December of the same calendar year; and

(b)areas under green cover may be established by sowing a mixture of at least 2 of the crop species listed in Part 1 of schedule 2, provided that the mixture of crop species is sown before 2nd November in any calendar year and not harvested before 31st December of the same calendar year.; and

(e)for paragraph (7) substitute—

(7) For the purposes of the second sub-paragraph of Article 46(2) of the Direct Payments Regulation, the ecological focus areas referred to in points (c) (landscape features) and (d) (buffer strips) of the first sub-paragraph of Article 46(2) of that Regulation may be located adjacent to the arable land of the holding.

(8) For the purposes of Article 46(3) of the Direct Payments Regulation—

(a)the weighting factors set out in Annex X to that Regulation apply to the ecological focus areas mentioned in paragraph (1); and

(b)the conversion factor set out in Annex X to that Regulation applies to the ecological focus area referred to in point (a) (hedges, wooded strips or trees in line) of the first sub-paragraph of Article 45(4) of the Direct Payments Delegated  Regulation..

10.  In schedule 1 (agricultural activity: further criteria), in Part 2 (minimum activity for the purposes of Article 4(1)(c)(iii) of the Direct Payments Regulation), in paragraph 2(2)—

(a)omit “or” at the end of head (h); and

(b)after head (h) insert—

(ha)2.5 farmed stags aged 27 months and over; or.

11.  In schedule 2 (ecological focus areas: further criteria)—

(a)in Part 1 (crop species that may be used in a mixture of crop species for the purposes of Article 45(9) of the Direct Payments Delegated Regulation in relation to areas under green cover)(3) for “Clover (Trifolium)” substitute—

Red clover (Trifolium pratense)

White clover (Trifolium repens);

(b)in Part 2 (nitrogen-fixing crops for the purposes of Article 45(10) of the Direct Payments Delegated Regulation) for “Clover (Trifolium)” substitute—

Red clover (Trifolium pratense)

White clover (Trifolium repens); and

(c)in Part 3 (additional conditions for the purposes of Article 45(10) of the Direct Payments Delegated Regulation)—

(i)for paragraph 2 substitute—

2.  Areas with nitrogen-fixing crops must be surrounded by a buffer strip or field margin, which is an ecological focus area as referred to in point (d) of the first sub-paragraph of Article 46(2) of the Direct Payments Regulation as construed with Article 45(5) of the Direct Payments Delegated Regulation, with a minimum width of 1 metre and a maximum width of 20 metres.; and

(ii)for paragraph 3(3)(4), substitute—

(3) In sub-paragraphs (1) and (2), “crop species” includes a mixture of any of the crop species listed in Part 2 of this schedule.

(4) Despite sub-paragraphs (1) and (2), areas with nitrogen fixing crops may also be established by sowing at least 1 of the crop species listed in Part 2 of this schedule with any other crop species, provided that the crop species listed in Part 2 of this schedule is predominant by weight of seed.

(5) In sub-paragraph (4)—

“crop species listed in Part 2 of this schedule” includes a mixture of any of the crop species listed in Part 2 of this schedule; and

“other crop species” includes-

(a)

a mixture of any of the crop species listed in Part 2 of this schedule and any other crop species; and

(b)

a mixture of any crop species not listed in Part 2 of this schedule..

12.  In schedule 3 (voluntary coupled support)(5), in Part 2 (voluntary coupled support: ovine animals)—

(a)in paragraph 6 (application for a scheme payment)—

(i)in sub-paragraph (1)(6), for “paragraph (1A)”(7) substitute “sub-paragraphs (1A) and (1B)”; and

(ii)after sub-paragraph (1A) insert—

(1B) In respect of calendar year 2018 and any subsequent calendar year, the final date for submitting an application to the Scottish Ministers for a scheme payment in respect of any eligible ovine animal is 30th November.; and

(b)in paragraph 7 (eligible ovine animal)—

(i)in sub-paragraph (b) for “17th October” substitute “1st December”; and

(ii)in sub-paragraph (c) for “17th October” substitute “1st December”.

Amendments to the Common Agricultural Policy (Cross-Compliance) (Scotland) Regulations 2014

13.  The Common Agricultural Policy (Cross-Compliance) (Scotland) Regulations 2014(8) are amended in accordance with regulation 14.

14.  In Part 2 of the schedule (standards for good agricultural and environmental condition)—

(a)in paragraph 1 (establishment of buffer strips along water courses)—

(i)in sub-paragraph (2) after “within” insert “, or on any land in a manner which will likely result in organic manure being located within,”; and

(ii)after sub-paragraph (7)(9), insert—

(8) In this paragraph, “field heap” means a store or stack of organic manure which is a freestanding heap which does not slump or produce free draining liquid from within the stacked material.;

(b)in paragraph 5(1) (minimum land management reflecting site specific conditions to limit erosion) for “prevent” substitute “limit”; and

(c)in paragraph 7 (retention of landscape features)—

(i)for sub-paragraph (2) substitute—

(2) A beneficiary must not trim a hedge or cut a tree during the period beginning on 1st March and ending on 31st August in any calendar year (“the prohibited period”), except in accordance with sub-paragraph (3A) or (3B).;

(ii)for sub-paragraph (3) substitute—

(3) Written consent under sub-paragraph (1) is not required—

(a)to widen field entrances to enable access for livestock or farm machinery; or

(b)where the hedge (or part of a hedge) or tree is—

(i)dead;

(ii)damaged; or

(iii)insecurely rooted,

and because of its condition it poses a risk to human safety.;

(iii)after sub-paragraph (3) insert—

(3A) Trimming a hedge or cutting a tree is permitted during the prohibited period—

(a)for the purposes of hedgelaying up to and including 31st March; or

(b)to the extent necessary for the purposes of road safety.

(3B) Trimming a hedge or cutting a tree during the month of August in any calendar year is permitted if—

(a)the hedge or tree is in a field which during that month has been sown with—

(i)a crop of oilseed rape; or

(ii)temporary grass; or

(b)the hedge or tree is in a field which during that month has been sown with any other crop and the Scottish Ministers have given the beneficiary written permission to trim the hedge or cut the tree.; and

(iv)in sub-paragraph (7)—

(aa)omit “and” at the end of head (b)(ii); and

(bb)for head (c) substitute—

(c)“hedgelaying” means a traditional method of cultivating hedges where tall saplings are partly cut through near the base and then bent over so that they lie horizontally and make a thick barrier; and

(d)“necessary for the purposes of road safety” includes where a tree or hedge—

(i)overhangs a road, surfaced track or footpath to which the public have access so as to endanger or obstruct the passage of vehicles, pedestrians or horse-riders; or

(ii)obstructs or interferes with the view of drivers of vehicles or the light from a public lamp..

Amendments to the Less Favoured Area Support Scheme (Scotland) Regulations 2010

15.  The Less Favoured Area Support Scheme (Scotland) Regulations 2010(10) are amended in accordance with regulations 16 to 18.

16.  In regulation 2(1) (interpretation), after the definition of “Scheme 2017 payment”(11) insert—

“Scheme 2018 payment” means the sum to which the applicant is entitled in respect of the period 1st January 2018 to 31st December 2018;.

17.  In regulation 10(2) (enterprise mix)(12) for “or the Scheme 2017 payment” substitute “, the Scheme 2017 payment or the Scheme 2018 payment”.

18.  In schedule 5 (rates of payment for less favoured area support—

(a)in Part I (more disadvantaged land)(13), in the second column of the table, after “Scheme 2017 payment” insert “, Scheme 2018 payment”; and

(b)in Part II (less disadvantaged land)(14), in the second column of the table, after “Scheme 2017 payment” insert “, Scheme 2018 payment”.

FERGUS EWING

A member of the Scottish Government

St Andrew’s House,

Edinburgh

16th April 2018

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