16. Minimum agricultural activity
The Basic Payment Scheme is area based and has been regionalised to reflect the variation in the traditional quality of land across Scotland. There are three Payment Regions:
- Payment Region one - this includes better quality agricultural land that has been used for arable cropping, temporary grass * and permanent grass **
- Payment Region two - this includes rough grazing *** with a Less Favoured Areas ( LFA) grazing category of B, C, D or non- LFA
- Payment Region three - this includes rough grazing with an LFA grazing category A
In addition, Payment Regions two and three have been designated as 'land naturally kept in a state suitable for grazing'. This means that there is a presumption that there is no meaningful agricultural intervention by the farmer to maintain the agricultural potential on the land. Consequently, a farmer must undertake a specified activity in order to turn such land into eligible hectares.
The minimum agricultural activity a farmer must undertake to make the land eligible for the Basic Payment Scheme is related to the region or regions applicable to the land he declares. These requirements are applicable to all farmers however, where there is a choice of activity to be undertaken, it is up to the individual farmer concerned.
* temporary grass ( TGRS) is grass sown down or reseeded in a five-year period following the growing of an arable or break crop.
** permanent grass ( PGRS) is grass that has not been reseeded in the last five years. It continues to be described as PGRS when reseeded provided no break crop (arable or catch) has been grown.
*** rough grazing ( RGR) are areas of low productivity grasses and other herbaceous forage and are constrained by issues such as poor drainage, steep slopes and / or rock (scree). These areas would be 'unimproved' and would not receive applications of mineral fertiliser or manure.