In order to assist farmers who are struggling to establish crops, DEFRA has confirmed today that the crop diversification greening requirement for BPS, commonly known as the “three crop rule” will not apply for Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) 2020 applications.


Due to the nationwide catastrophic flooding and persistent wet weather throughout February 2020, farmers were concerned they would have extreme difficulty in complying with the three-crop greening rule. The government are therefore pursuing plans through Parliament to relax this rule for ALL farmers for 2020.


There have been no announcements as yet regarding EFA greening. We therefore urge farmers to still plan for the usual required Ecological Focus Areas (EFA). These are applicable to all holdings with 15 hectares or more of arable land.  The total of all EFA’s are required to add up to an equivalent of at least 5% of the total arable land – a list of what counts as an EFA is below:


  • Buffer strips and field margins
  • Catch crops
  • Cover crops
  • Nitrogen fixing crops
  • Fallow Land
  • Hedges or trees in a line


If you have any questions, please get in touch with us.