What does end of ‘greening’ requirements mean for you?

Farmers and landowners in England are likely to welcome the news from DEFRA this week that greening requirements adopted from the European Commission surrounding the three-crop diversification rule and ecological focus areas (EFA)  will be scrapped as the government transitions from the current Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) to the new Environmental Land Management (ELM) Scheme, but what will this mean for you?

  • Reduced administrative burden as no need to comply with EU greening policy in 2021 scheme year
  • No effect on the overall payment received by each farmer as the 30% associated with greening will instead be reallocated to farmers’ entitlements under BPS
  • This is a first phase of the seven-year transition to the new ELM scheme, rewarding farmers with ‘public money for public goods’, and due to start being introduced fully in 2024


  • Farmers can continue to apply to Countryside Stewardship (CS) schemes until the ELM scheme is rolled out
  • Particularly beneficial to contract farmers, where the crop diversification rule, and its impact on crop rotations within each holding, has had impractical outcomes on their ability to grow crops efficiently
  • Farms with limited storage will no longer need to find space to store three or more crops

Arthey Associates’ Director Tom Arthey said: “We are pleased to provide ongoing advice and support for our farming clients on their current and future BPS and CS schemes, and we know that this cut of the so called ‘greening’ will help to simplify the administrative requirements and environmental management on farms. We also welcome the permanent removal of the three-crop rule which, as had already been shown last winter, was too prescriptive for many farmers.”

Tom continued: “However, there is still an alarming lack of detail on what the new ELM scheme will look like, and, like our agronomy colleagues, we would advise that farmers don’t rush into making wholesale changes to their farming systems until more details emerge.”

“Environment Secretary, George Eustice, has said that they will be setting out more detail in the autumn on how they intend to ensure a smooth transition for farmers. The plans are for a “fairer agricultural system”, which will reward farmers for the hard work that they do to protect the environment, but on what basis that will be is still largely unknown.”

Arthey Associates are farm business consultants based in Northamptonshire, offering a range of services to clients locally and nationwide. Their expertise ranges from land agency to cash-flow forecasting, and business modelling to bookkeeping, as well as community engagement, PR and marketing to ensure that new and existing businesses reach their end customer, whether that is business-to-business or direct to consumer.

If you would like a no obligation meeting to discuss the impact of ELM Scheme on your business or any of our services, please contact Tom Arthey on tom@artheyassociates.co.uk or 07748 295448 / 01832 270269

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