BPS2015: Remember to establish catch crops and cover crops
If you made the declaration on your 2015 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) Application that you would establish catch and/or cover crops as part of your Ecological Focus Area (EFA) on your land for this scheme year, it is important that this is done before the respective deadlines.
Catch crops establish a ground cover between summer harvest and autumn sowing and must be established by 31st August 2015 and retained until at least 1st October 2015.
Cover crops establish a ground cover between summer harvest and the planting of spring crops. If these were declared as an EFA then they must be established by 1st October 2015 and retained until at least 15th January 2016.
If you receive an inspection by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) and it is found that the crops have not been established or there are discrepancies between the declared area and the established area, the RPA may activate penalties which could lead to a reduction in your BPS payment. Where catch crops have been declared and the wet weather conditions prevent the establishment of the crops, it may be possible to amend the EFA catch crop to make them an EFA cover crop without penalty, provided that the RPA has not notified you or an inspection or an issue with your BPS claim. We are awaiting further clarification from the RPA regarding this. Please contact us for further advice on your Greening obligations.