'˜Too many strings' in greening rules, says NFU Scotland

While arable farmers have been desperate to see some simplification applied to the greening rules which they are required to carry out in order to meet EU regulations, the latest set of proposals came with too many strings attached for the industry.

NFU Scotland's Ian Sands said simplification of greening 'remains a priority for Scottish farmers'. Picture: Michael Gillen
NFU Scotland's Ian Sands said simplification of greening 'remains a priority for Scottish farmers'. Picture: Michael Gillen

Welcoming the news that the European Parliament’s agriculture committee had rejected the proposed simplification measures – which included a move to ban the use of all plant protection products (PPPs) on ecological focus areas – NFU Scotland’s combinable crops committee chairman, Ian Sands, said that the union had been amongst several organisations strongly opposed to the measures.

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“Simplification of greening remains a priority for Scottish farmers,” he said. “However, it is an indication of how damaging the proposals on PPPs would have been that we had to call for rejection of the whole proposal as it stands.”

Sands said that the next step would involve a vote at the European Parliament in Strasbourg in mid-June, adding that the union hoped it would follow the lead of the agriculture committee.

“A sensible compromise would see the simplification package to go ahead but without plant protection product restrictions that would seriously limit EFA options for Scottish farmers,” he added.