HC Deb 21 March 1991 vol 188 cc220-1W
Mr. Barry Field

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what changes he has introduced to the set-aside scheme since its initial introduction.

Mr. Curry

Several changes have been introduced for the third year of the set-aside scheme in particular to improve its impact upon the environmentThe number of cuts required of the plant cover on fallow set-aside land has been increased from one to two; The list of environmental features which farmers have to maintain and protect on set-aside land has been extended; A limited grazed fallow option has been included; The rates of aid for permanent and rotational fallow have been increased, partly to offset the increased costs arising from the new management rules; Differential rates of aid have been introduced for farmers who fallow more than 100 hectares of land and more than 75 per cent. of their eligible area, in order to reflect better the fixed cost savings.

Other changes have also been made to the scheme in the light of experience of its first two years of operation.