Date: February 14, 2024 Time: 00:15:49
The European Commission (EC) has approved a regulation that will allow the Member States of the European Union to offer their farmers three alternatives to comply with the BCAM 8 standard during 2024. This regulation requires a minimum percentage of cropland to be dedicated to non-productive elements. In this way, and according to the regulation published this Tuesday in the Journal of the European Union (OJEU), States will be able to make the decision to allow farmers to dedicate a percentage of at least 4% to non-productive surface or elements; such as barbecues, nitrogen-fixing crops or catch crops.
For those cases in which the alternative of intermediate crops or nitrogen fixers is chosen, the regulation prohibits the use of phytosanitary products. The EC thus makes compliance with the standard of good agricultural and environmental conditions of the land (BCAM standards) 8 more flexible, whose main objective is the maintenance of non-productive elements and surfaces to improve biodiversity on farms.
To make this decision, the EC has taken into account that farmers are facing many “difficulties and uncertainties” due to extreme weather events, including droughts and floods, “which affect yields and income, and also in the implementation and timing of customary agronomic practices.”
Uncertainty and pressure in the market
High energy and input prices as a result of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, inflation, changes in international trade flows and the need to support Ukraine have created even more uncertainty and pressure in the market, as explains the EC in its explanatory memorandum.
Furthermore, it illustrates that farmers are facing a drop in income, and particularly in the case of cereals, prices have plummeted compared to 2022, with the value of cereal production in the EU-27 passing 80.6 billion. . of euros in 2022 to 58.8 billion in 2023 (-27%).
For all these reasons, the EC has adopted this regulation, which will come into force this Wednesday and will thereafter offer a period of 15 days to the Member States that decide to take advantage of the exception to communicate it.