Field areas FAQ
1. What should I do if part of my field will be uncropped this year?
So long as the areas are kept in good agricultural and environmental condition, according to the relevant cross-compliance conditions, uncropped areas can be included in the claimed area of a field.
2. Can a grass bank or a grass strip within a cropped field be included in my claim?
So long as the area is grazeable and maintained in good agricultural and environmental condition, it can be claimed on.
3. Should I deduct the area of a 2 metre cross-compliance buffer strip running alongside a hedge or ditch?
No, this should be included in your claim.
4. Should the area of ponds and similar water features be deducted from the field area?
Yes, these features should be deducted from the total field area. Areas that are temporarily flooded do not have to be deducted.
5. Should the area of metalled tracks and buildings be deducted from the field area?
Yes, these features should be deducted from the claimed area.
6. How should I adjust the claimed area if there are trees in the field?
If you have a land parcel with more than 50 trees per ha in it, and it does not qualify as grazed woodland or a grazed orchard, you will not be able to claim the Single Payment on that land.
Below this threshold, you can claim on the land parcel, but you should make appropriate allowance for the area taken up by the trees. Estimate the area taken up by the trunk(s) of the trees and, if this is greater than 0.01 ha in total, deduct the figure from the claimed area of the field.
7. How should I adjust the area of a field to take account of pylons?
The area of fenced-off pylons should be deducted from the claimed area of area of the field.
8. Can I claim on the area of a dung heap in a field?
If the amount of dung stored is sufficient to be spread on the field concerned, and will be spread according to the annual cultivation cycle, the area covered by the heap can be included in your claim. Otherwise, it should be deducted.
9. Can I claim on the area covered by straw/silage/hay bales in a field?
Where the bales are situated in the field in which they have been harvested, or will be fed to animals situated in the field, the area can be included in the claim. Otherwise, it should be deducted.
10. If I am claiming the single payment on a field growing crops that require a horticultural authorisation, do I need sufficient authorisations to match the actual cropped area, or the total field area?
If the field is fully utilised according to normal cultivation practices for the crop concerned, you will need sufficient authorisations to cover the entire field area. If areas of the field are uncropped, and the field has been split accordingly on the field data sheet SP5A, you will only need authorisations to cover the part field that is growing the relevant horticultural crops.
11. Should the area of a footpath following a public right of way across a cropped field be deducted from the claimed area?
No, provided it can be kept in good agricultural and environmental condition such areas can be claimed. However, it may be difficult to keep such areas in GAEC.
12. Should the area of a right of way across a grass field be deducted from the claimed area?
As above, such footpaths over grass fields can be claimed provided they are kept in good agricultural and environmental condition.
13. What area should I claim on for a crop-specific payments, such as the protein crop premium?
Please see section J of the 2006 SPS Handbook.
14. I have a holding that is out of agricultural use in 2005, but which will be brought back into agricultural use at a later date?
Unless you can demonstrate that the land is out of agricultural use in 2005 as the result of an event qualifying as force-majeure or exceptional circumstances, you will not be able to establish an entitlement on that area.
An example of the sort of event we would regard as qualifying under this heading would be the temporary acquisition of the land by a utility company either using compulsory powers or under the threat of such powers being used. Even in this situation, however, you would not be able to activate the entitlement for payment in 2005 as the associated area is not in agricultural use.
When this land is brought back into eligible agricultural use, it will be possible to use the area to activate an entitlement for payment.
If you cannot find the answer to your question here, then please ring
the Customer Service Centre on 0845 603 7777.
If your enquiry is not urgent please e-mail us at CSC@rpa.gsi.gov.uk or write to us at:
Rural Payments Agency
PO Box 1058
Page published: 27 June 2011