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New EU rules are postponed: Minister of Agriculture Özdemir allows farmers to grow more wheat


Farmers should be able to use fields longer and be allowed to grow wheat again after wheat: In order to stabilize the grain markets, Agriculture Minister Özdemir wants to suspend stricter EU regulations for farmers for the time being.

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Wheat harvest in Baden-Württemberg: »Keeping grain yields stable in Germany«

Photo: Philipp von Ditfurth / dpa

In view of the tense grain markets caused by the war in Ukraine, Federal Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir wants to enable farmers in Germany to use agricultural land for the cultivation of certain crops for food production for longer.

According to his ministry, a compromise proposal presented on Friday by the Green politician provides for a one-off suspension of the new EU regulations on set-aside and crop rotation.

Accordingly, among other things, the actually planned additional species protection areas should not be introduced until 2024.

Farmers could then continue to grow food on these areas in the coming year.

The background to this are EU regulations that will take effect from 2023, according to which part of the agricultural land is used for species protection and, in addition, it should no longer be possible to cultivate the same crop two years in a row on the same area to protect the soil.

However, Brussels had left the implementation of the requirements to the respective EU states.

Özdemir has now submitted his proposal for the implementation of the Commission's decision to the federal states, which provides for a suspension of crop rotation and set-aside - according to the information, the federal states still have to agree to Özdemir's compromise.

Set-aside is to be suspended in the coming year

According to the ministry, the first mandatory set-aside will be suspended once in the coming year.

Instead, agricultural cultivation should continue to be possible, "however, in line with the objectives of the Commission proposal, limited to the production of food, and therefore to the crops of cereals (without corn), sunflowers and legumes (without soybeans)," it said.

This only applies to the areas that were not already designated as fallow farmland in 2021 and 2022.

In addition, according to the information provided, the EU has followed Özdemir's suggestion and is allowing an exception when changing crop rotation.

The corresponding regulation will be suspended once in 2023.

This would allow farmers in Germany to plant wheat after wheat on an exceptional basis on around 380,000 hectares.

According to scientific calculations, up to 3.4 million tons of wheat could be grown in this way.

This is the best way to "keep the grain yields in Germany stable and thus contribute to the stability of the world markets," it said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is playing with hunger, and he is doing it at the expense of the poorest in the world, Özdemir said.

At the same time, hunger is greatest where the climate crisis has already hit hard.

"For me, therefore, every measure to solve a crisis must be checked to ensure that it does not exacerbate another," said the Green politician.

Agriculture in Germany made an offer to calm the grain markets by maintaining production.


Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2022-08-05

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