Commission adopts environmental exemptions for farmers affected by drought

EPA-EFE/ZSOLT CZEGLEDI

A field of dry corn is seen near Hajduszovat, 214 kms east of the capital Budapest, August 23, 2018. Hungary's Agricultural Minister Istvan Nagy has warned that drought is the biggest threat to the country's farmers.

Commission adopts environmental exemptions for farmers affected by drought


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As the effects of climate change continue to shape Europe’s plans for the future, the European Commission has adopted derogations on certain greening rules which were proposed during the summer as part of a plan to support farmers affected by drought.

The Commission hopes the additional flexibility will increase forage resources for livestock, one of the main challenges facing European farmers as a result of the particularly hot weather conditions across Europe this summer.

The derogations adopted relate specifically to winter and intermediate crops, and were presented in August to the Member States. The Commission will, after previously granting exemptions to other countries, also extend to France and Belgium derogations on fallow land, or land that is normally used for farming but has been left with no crops for one harvest season.

The new measures will apply retroactively and were announced during the summer when the proposals were first presented to the Member States. The hope is that this will serve to reassure farmers who were unable to follow all of Brussels’ the environmental rules. A decision on payment advances will also be adopted later this month, in time for the start of the payment period beginning on October 16.

The Commission continues to monitor the situation very closely on the basis of information provided by the Member States. It will only be possible to have an overall view of the impact of the summer drought in the coming months as more information on harvests and market conditions becomes available.

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