But there is one group of farmers where the new rule will have an unexpected consequence - those whose land may be affected by an infrastructure project in 2015. Such projects are often temporary in nature and may involve a water company installing a new sewer or water pipe for example. Here land will be temporarily taken out of production along the route of the pipe and where contractor’s compounds or pipe stores are required.
In such instances farmers will generally not be allowed to claim on the affected land because it will not comply with the myriad of “cross compliance” rules which are a feature of the both the old SPS and BPS. However, if this land cannot be claimed on in 2015 the farmer will permanently lose the matching entitlements even though the loss of land has only been temporary and has been at the behest of a third party out of the farmer’s control.
It is not permitted for these circumstances could be considered as “force majeure” thereby exempting a farmer from losing entitlements. Therefore farmers affected by schemes that will result in a temporary loss of land this year will incur a permanent loss of the equivalent number of entitlements. This will not happen in future years because the ongoing rules allow entitlements to be used every other year.
There are solutions for farmers likely to be affected by such a scheme, please contact Carter Jonas for advice.