Farming organisations have asked for an urgent relaxation of the three crop rule as thousands of farmers battle floods after Storm Dennis.
The UK Farming Roundtable, which met yesterday (18 February), has called for the government to grant a derogation from the rule.
The three crop rule requires farmers to have three crops in the ground on their farm between 1 May and 30 June.
They have asked the government to broaden the extent of the Farming Recovery Fund to help flood-hit farmers with any uninsurable losses as a result of flooding.
The roundtable, which consists of groups such as the NFU, Country Land and Business Association and the National Sheep Association, highlighted how farmers are facing an 'unprecedented situation'.
A statement said: “Relentless rain has meant some farmers won’t have been able to get on their land since the autumn.
“A significant area of farmland is currently underwater following two storms in two weeks, compounding the already wet ground conditions from this winter.
“Many farmers were unable to plant winter crops and are now facing great difficulty planting spring crops.”
Farmers are struggling with the immediate impacts of the current flood water and also the knock-on effects of damage to farmland and buildings, as well as significant impacts to this season’s cropping.
The group said farmers will be looking to the government to be practical: “We are urging them to grant a derogation from the three crop rule, which is completely unworkable for farmers across the country this year,” the statement added.
“We are also urging the government to broaden the Farming Recovery Fund for flood-hit areas to help with any losses they have had from this difficult situation.”