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NFU statement on Defra’s dual use policy for this year

The NFU has said that farmers and growers will be left frustrated after Defra announced it was not allowing dual use for mid-tier environmental stewardship scheme applicants this year.

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The NFU has said that farmers and growers will be left frustrated after Defra announced it was not allowing dual use for mid-tier environmental stewardship scheme applicants this year.

NFU Vice President Guy Smith said: “The NFU has lobbied for the continuation of dual use throughout the development of Countryside Stewardship to allow business flexibility.

“So while we welcome the decision to allow dual use for applications for next year, it is frustrating that Defra has taken until now to reach a decision on this year’s applications so late in the process.

“The application window for mid-tier closes in eight days’ time, leaving very little time for applicants to change their applications in response. This confusion won’t encourage farmers to put in applications for this year. We also understand applicants have the choice to remove land with dual use from their application or leave making an application until next year.”

Dual use is the practice where, on the same parcel of land, there are different claimants for agri-environment schemes and Basic Payment Scheme. Some examples of mid-tier environmental schemes, under the new Countryside Stewardship schemes, includes reducing diffuse water pollution or improving the farmed environment from farmland birds and pollinators and more.

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