§ Mr. Jack
At the meeting of Agriculture Ministers on 16 and 17 November, my right hon. Friend the Minister continued to press for a number of changes to the rules on set-aside under the arable area payments scheme, in particular to enable those who have set land aside for five years under the old five-year scheme to keep all that land in set-aside, to reduce the percentage requirement for mixtures of rotational and non-rotational set-aside below the 20 per cent. proposed and to allow arable land taken out of production under forestry and agri-environment schemes to count against a producer's set-aside requirement. It was not possible to reach decisions at the meeting though a compromise was discussed that would allow farmers finishing a five-year set-aside agreement to keep all that land in set-aside for a further five years. Discussion will resume at the December Council when I hope that agreement can be reached.