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Crops: Subsidies

Volume 469: debated on Monday 10 December 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what average level of annual subsidy from the public purse per hectare for growing (a) wheat, (b) barley, (c) potatoes and (d) miscanthus grass was in the latest period for which figures are available. (170198)

The introduction of the single payment scheme in 2005 decoupled support from production. There are now no specific payments for growing cereals or potatoes.

The average payment per hectare for the single payment scheme 2006 in England was £163. This is a simple average obtained by dividing the net amount payable by the total area on agricultural holdings in June 2006. There will have been wide variations between farms and within the same farm type. This payment was decoupled from production and was not dependent on any production taking place on farm.

The England Rural Development Programme’s (ERDP) Energy Crops Scheme offers grants to farmers in England for the establishment of miscanthus and short rotation coppice. The scheme is currently awaiting approval from the EU Commission but the rate for miscanthus is expected to be £800 per hectare.

Growers of crops used for the production of energy, including rapeseed, wheat, barley, short rotation coppice and miscanthus, may also be eligible for aid under the Aid for Energy Crops (AEC) Scheme. After scaleback due to the area claimed being greater than the maximum guaranteed area, claimants will receive a maximum payment of €31.65 per hectare for the eligible land on which they made a claim for AEC in 2007. The predominant crop in 2007 was oilseed rape.