NFU Cymru has welcomed the Welsh Government's decision to suspend the two and three-crop rule during emergency Covid-19 measures.

The requirement means a farmer claiming BPS needs to consider whether they have two or three arable crops between May and June.

NFU Cymru combinable crops chairman Andrew Davies said: “This derogation will be a relief to many farmers who have faced one of the wettest winters on record, resulting in fields being waterlogged and in some cases being underwater for many weeks.

“The unprecedented situation has meant farmers up and down the country have found it difficult to have one crop in the ground, let alone three.

"Many farmers have lost crops planted last autumn which failed to establish as a result of waterlogged fields and have faced the significant additional costs associated with replanting and re-establishing crops to meet this rule in 2020.

“NFU Cymru has raised this matter with the Minister and her officials in Welsh Government and Rural Payments Wales (RPW) on a number of occasions in recent months.

"Initially RPW agreed to look at this matter on a case-by-case basis under force majeure provisions.

"We are pleased that Welsh Government has now recognised the difficulty and bureaucracy of this approach especially in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Welcoming the extension of the SAF deadline until June 15 and the reopening of the BPS and Glastir 2019 support scheme (loan facility), NFU Cymru president John Davies added the absolute priority for RPW was to ensure that all outstanding payments to farmers are made in full at the earliest opportunity.