New European support measures for farmers

Additional exemptions were announced on Thursday by the European Commission to allow farmers affected by the drought this summer to feed their livestock adequately.

The authorities thus allow considering winter crops, usually seeded in the fall for harvesting or pasture, as intermediate crops (which is illegal as per current laws) if they are used for pastures or fodder production.

The farmers are also granted the possibility to plant only one species of intermediate crops (rather than the mixed variety normally required) if these are used for pastures or fodder.

Furthermore, the binding period for intermediate crops (currently 8 weeks), can be reduced to allow for a timely planting of winter crops.

A few weeks ago, the Commission had already announced the possibility of advance payments. Farmers will receive up to 70% of their direct payments and 85% of their rural development payments as of mid-October 2018. They should not have to wait until December, therefore, to stabilize their cash flow.

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