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The Agricultural Weather Advisory Panel met earlier this month to discuss the impact of the recent dry weather on Scottish agriculture, including a potential shortage of animal feed over the winter months.
In light of requests to shorten the Ecological Focus Areas (EFA) fallow period to allow a fodder crop to be grown over the autumn, the panel decided to highlight the flexibility that currently exists under the 2018 Greening rules.
These allow a return to agricultural activity in a range of EFA options. Please see the table below for full details.
What is permitted under Scottish Greening rules within the Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs) as of 16 August 2018
• although no agricultural activity is allowed in EFA fallow between 15 January and 15 July, agricultural activity can be resumed after the 15 July
•can be grazed or cut from the 15 July with the exception that livestock cannot graze in margins that contain or are adjacent to a watercourse
EFA catch crops
•the catch crop (grass) must be maintained until 31 December however, grazing can take place after the nurse crop (cereal) has been harvested
EFA green cover
•although no agricultural activity is allowed on green cover between 1 November and 31 December (the maintenance period), agricultural activity can resume after 31 December, allowing for spring grazing
EFA nitrogen fixing crops
•can be grazed or cut after 1 August with the exception that livestock cannot graze in margins that contain or are adjacent to a watercourse