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Michael Gove offers further support to drought-hit farmers

Defra Secretary Michael Gove has offered further assistance to farmers affected by this summer’s dry weather.

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Michael Gove offers further support to drought-hit farmers

From September 26, farmers will be able to grow grass and other edible forage in areas which are not usually allowed for grazing.

 

The flexibility has been granted after the UK Government entered into negotiations with the European Commission.

 

It is hoped the derogation will help livestock farmers who have had to break into their winter feed supplies early.

 

Mr Gove said: “I am pleased that the flexibilities announced today will offer some help to livestock farmers by opening up new sources of fodder ahead of the winter.


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“I am also glad we are continuing to discuss the industry’s ideas for longer-term resilience.”

 

The Government has promised to continue to monitor the situation and listen to industry through the autumn and winter months.

Ministers have previously:

  • Granted 89 flexible water abstraction licenses by the Environment Agency for farmers to safeguard food production and animal welfare
  • Published guidance for 40 Countryside Stewardship options which can be adjusted for this year without penalty if agreement holders notify Natural England by the end of 2018
  • Waived penalties for farmers who fail to establish EFA catch crops by 20 August
  • Communicated to farming groups that they are able to graze fallow land without need for a derogation

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