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Cross compliance standard suspended to help flood affected farmers

by 5m Editor
12 July 2007, at 10:38am

UK - Environment Secretary Hilary Benn has suspended a cross-compliance standard to enable farmers to use mechanical equipment and vehicles on waterlogged soil and access their crops.

The Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition standard, GAEC 3, prohibits farmers from carrying out mechanical operations and using motorised vehicles on waterlogged soil. The standard was put in place to protect soils from compaction and structural damage caused by using vehicles when the soil is too wet.

The Environment Secretary has the power to vary or suspend the requirement in periods of exceptional weather conditions.

In view of the recent weather conditions and flooding in some parts of the country, Mr Benn has temporarily suspended the requirement until 31 July (subject to review).

Mr Benn was at the Great Yorkshire yesterday and listened to a number of concerns raised by farmers affected by the recent weather in the region. These concerns centered around the difficulties posed by GAEC 3, after which the Environment Secretary instructed the department to temporarily suspend the restrictions.

5m Editor