The CLA has defended the environmental work carried out by farmers after a group of leading conservation experts claimed the greening element of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) would prove to be ineffective.
Featured in the journal Science published on 6 June, the report said the policy was “unlikely to benefit biodiversity” across Europe and the European Union’s member states needed to take extra steps to protect farmed and grassland ecosystems through compulsory measures.
CLA President Henry Robinson said: “It may be that the new CAP does not satisfy ‘green demands’, but it never will.
“Nevertheless, under the new CAP farmers will still be doing more for less – and under stricter regulations. Moreover, farmers have voluntarily committed via the Campaign for the Farmed Environment (CFE) to improving the biodiversity on their land.”
The report also criticised the crop diversification element of CAP, stating that there was no evidence making farms with more than 30 hectares of arable plant a minimum of three crops would help the environment at all.
Mr Robinson added: “The CLA lobbied against this element of greening as a measure to improve the green credentials of farming.
“In many cases, say on a 40 hectare farm for example, being forced to grow a minimum of three crops seems arbitrary and entirely against the concept of greening because it will only serve to increase greenhouse emissions due to increased vehicle use and transportation.”
The CLA will be attending the Cereals Show on 11-12 June (stand 707, Seventh Avenue) with Agricultural Advisor Edward Barker and Conservation Advisor Charlotte Lay available to answer questions regarding CAP amendments and discuss impacts on agri-environment schemes.