Today’s farming statistics show mixed results for arable farmers, with both wheat and barley showing a drop in production compared to 2017. Although they are similar to 2016 and in line with medium term average production levels.
We know the weather this year has raised a number of challenges for farmers. That’s why we have taken a number of steps to ease these pressures, including:
- securing a derogation from the EU’s Ecological Focus Area winter cover crop requirements.
- publishing guidance for 40 Countryside Stewardship options which can be adjusted for this year without penalty.
- waiving penalties for farmers who failed to establish EFA catch crops by 20th August.
In addition, the Environment Agency has granted 90 flexible water abstraction licenses for farmers to safeguard food production and animal welfare.
We remain in contact with the NFU and other organisations, as well as on the industry’s plan for longer-term resilience.