Following mounting pressure from farmers and advisors, DEFRA has finally allowed the relaxation of the 2 and 3 crop diversification rule. A requirement for arable farmers claiming the Basic Payment Scheme in 2020. Due to the severe flooding in many parts of the country and generally very wet autumn and winter, many farmers had struggled to drill any crops, let alone 3 separate crops. DEFRA’s press release of the 20th March states that the “blanket derogation” from the crop diversification rules for BPS 2020 applications in England will have to be approved by Parliament. This Statutory Instrument may not therefore be in place until quite close to 15th May 2020 deadline but it is acknowledged that for the “blanket derogation” to be of assistance for BPS 2020 applications, those should be completed on the understanding that the crop diversification rules do not apply for 2020. Farmers will still be required to meet the 5% of arable area greening requirement unless they meet one of the existing exemption criterias.Here at Lister Haigh, it is business as usual and we continue to assist a large number of clients with their 2020 Basic Payment Scheme applications which primarily this year will be undertaken by telephone. If you require any assistance, do not hesitate to contact our agricultural team on 01423 860322.