At the end of July, guidance was published for farmers who were facing difficulties meeting requirements for rural grant and payment schemes due to the hot and dry weather.
Since then, Defra has approved temporary prescription adjustments (TPA) to some Countryside Stewardship (CS) and Environmental Stewardship (ES options) due to the extreme challenges that farmers have faced this year. The ‘Options with temporary adjustments’ document lists those options that have a temporary adjustment.
Agreement holders can choose to either implement their existing options without adjustment, or apply to Natural England to implement the options with adjustments.
These adjustments apply from 14 September to 31 December 2018, unless otherwise stated in the detail of the individual options.
From 1 January 2019 all options will revert to their original prescriptions.
What the adjustments mean for agreement holders
Due to this year’s drought conditions, these adjustments have been introduced to help ease shortages of bedding, fodder, grazing, or forage crops – this is mainly for your own use and to share with the wider community, but should not be for profit.
If you choose to follow any of these adjustments, you must apply to Natural England as set out below
You must still meet with regulatory and cross compliance requirements, and consider soil conditions (poaching, compaction, run-off), particularly on land which is grazed or used by machinery.
How to apply
Fill in the form ‘Temporary Prescription Adjustments’ and email it to email@example.com and use either ‘CS Temporary Prescription Adjustments’ or ‘ES Temporary Prescription Adjustments’, as appropriate, in the subject line.
Make sure you use a separate form for each agreement.
You will receive an automatic reply to your email confirming that we have received your form.
Once you have submitted your form and received the automatic acknowledgement, you can make the prescribed adjustments chosen to your options straightaway.
We will not normally contact you again about your form but we will keep the details on your agreement records.
What records you need to keep
You will need to keep the following records and produce them if you are asked to do so.
- Field operations at the parcel level, including associated invoices
- Stock records to show grazing activity on parcels.
Read more information about option AB9/OP2 Winter bird food plots
If you choose this option, please read the separate document on this page as it gives you more information, including what records you need to keep.
Environmental Stewardship Wild bird seed mix plots
You do not need to re-sow failed ES wild bird seed mix plots as the AB9/OP2 Temporary Prescription Adjustment does not apply to:
- Entry Level Stewardship (ELS)
- Organic Entry Level Stewardship (OELS)
- Higher Level Stewardship (HLS).
Specifically, if you have failed or unsown wild bird seed mix plots being managed under the following options:
- EF2 – Wild bird seed mixture
- HF2 – Wild bird seed mixture
- HF12 – Enhanced wild bird seed mix plots (rotational or non-rotational)
- OF2 – Wild bird seed mixture
- OHF2 – Wild bird seed mixture.