The vineyard area (both grapes for winemaking and table) will be eligible for additional aid from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to be implemented from 2023, through the so-called eco-The application of these schemes, which have not yet been approved and published in the Official State Gazette, is already causing considerable controversy in the sector.
As the SeVi advanced in its day, this new measure will remunerate agricultural or livestock practices beneficial to the climate and the environment, through voluntary commitments that decide to apply farmers. In other words, despite being a voluntary measure, they will only receive this additional aid if they commit themselves and comply with the practices mentioned.
The annual commitment, except for practices 4 and 6 (the latter is the one affecting the vineyard), where there will be additional payments for the maintenance of the commitment the following year.
For farmers, eco-schemes represent a higher level of demand than cross-compliance measures for the granting of direct payments, hitherto applied in the CAP and Therefore, in exchange for receiving them an additional cost that each beneficiary will have to see if it is worth it or not (that is, if it comes to account) to face.
The MAP recalls that, on the same hectare, you can only compute a practice for payment purposes, so if you apply more than one practice will only be charged for one.
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The vineyard is included in the framework of the eco-regimes of «Low carbon agriculture», whose central objective is to improve the structure of the soils, reduce erosion and desertification, increase the carbon content thereof and reduce emissions, and the agricultural practices that would benefit from this aid are P6 (Vegetation cover, spontaneous or sown) and P7 (Inert vegetation cover).
The first (practice 6) refers to keeping on the central lanes of a plant cover, which can be sown with some herbaceous or grass, or spontaneous, alive or exhausted, on the ground throughout the year. The cover must remain alive for at least 4 months between 1 October and 1 April.
The minimum dimensions of the vegetation cover must be greater than 40% of the free width of the canopy projection, and in the terrain with high slope will have one meter more width of cover.
The management of this seeded or spontaneous vegetation cover is by means of mechanical mowing or clearing, the remains being deposited on the ground, so that they cover the initial space occupied by the vegetation cover. Plant protection products may not be used there, except by way of derogation.
As for the second (practice 7), inert plant cover, consists of crushing the pruning remains and deposit them on the soil bed.
The date on which the pruning was carried out should be recorded in the logbook.
The minimum dimensions of the inert vegetative cover of pruning remains are the same as in the previous practice, greater by 40% of the free width of the cup projection. It also does not allow phytosanitary measures, with exceptions.
The unit amounts of aid per hectare to apply an eco-scheme will depend in the vineyard, as a woody crop, on the slope on which the holding is located, the higher the slope, with a supplement to the planned unit amount of EUR 25/ha if the winegrower undertakes to carry out the practice of planting or spontaneous cutlery (P6) the following year. Degressivity shall not apply to this additional aid.
Estimated amounts per hectare for the application of eco-schemes to wood crops
Burning of remains
In recent weeks has been quite controversial because the entry into force of the Law 7/2022 of Contaminated Waste and Soils for a circular economy of the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (Miterd) expressly prohibits, Except for exceptions, the burning of agricultural plant remains, such as vineyard branches when pruning is carried out in the winter months, after the harvest.
According to these regulations, the burning of plant waste produced in the agricultural and forestry environment is generally prohibited. However, this burning could be permitted, exceptionally in two cases and provided that there is a corresponding individual authorisation allowing such burning.
These two scenarios are: where for phytosanitary reasons it is not possible to address the management of plant waste through a treatment other than burning, Properly motivating that no other means exist to prevent the spread of pests and when in forest environments it is not possible to remove and subsequently manage plant waste, and its burning is necessary to prevent forest fires.
They are also the CC.AA. the authorities responsible for determining the content of the authorisations, the authorisation procedure and the designation of the competent authority within that authority.
Agrarian organizations, such as the Union of Unions, have reacted mostly criticizing that the Miterd has hardened in the aforementioned law the rules on agricultural burning «without necessity and for ideological reasons» and has brought this problem to the Congress of Deputies so that modifications are made to this rule that returns the situation of agricultural fires to the previous scenario, so that farmers can make them according to the rules of the European Waste Directive.
For UdeU, this measure does not really bring environmental benefits, since it forces farmers to invest in equipment and machinery that, to destroy materials, end up using fossil fuels, or to pick them up and transport them to plants that at the moment would not have the capacity to process them and, at the same time, emissions would occur throughout the process.
The Minister of Agriculture himself, Luis Planas, intervened in this controversy to see what changes could be made or not in the regulations at the level of exceptions, but recalled that in the next CAP, which will enter into force next 2023, aid will be available for the burial or shredding of plant remains, in practice (P7 in the case of pruning on woody crops, such as vineyard shoots) collected under so-called eco-schemes to benefit the climate and the environment.
Planas advanced, in any case, that his department (although the Law was proposed by the Miterd) is working on an amendment of the Law to give a solution to affected farmers, They cannot cope with pruning because of the investment involved or a logistical impossibility.
From La Rioja, the agrarian organization ARAG-Asaja also expressed the concern and uncertainty generated by the implementation of the regulation (Law 7/2022) on the prohibition of burning of plant remains among farmers, since, shortly, The pruning and grubbing-up of vines and other woody crops will begin. And it has asked to repeal the part of the regulation concerning the prohibition of the burning of agricultural remains.
For the agricultural organization of La Rioja, the new law completely transforms the usual and traditional action of the farmer, who will not be able to develop a normal and necessary activity for the field, by equating the burning of woody residues from the vineyard and other crops with other residues.
In addition, adds ARAG-Asaja, the Government has taken into account that the burning of agricultural waste helps, from the phytosanitary point of view, to eliminate pests and diseases that suffer from different crops and its prohibition entails a significant expense for agricultural holdings, There is no network of biomass companies that can take care of the amount of wood left behind.
Until the publication of this law in April of this year, the prohibition of agricultural burning was regulated within the framework of the conditionality of the CAP (BECAM3), which already established the prohibition of burning arable crops stubbles, except exceptions for health reasons to be determined by the Autonomous Communities. As for the rest of the burning of the remains of woody or other crops, the prohibition was determined by the CC.AA. according to their autonomous fire prevention standards. That is why, according to ARAG-Asaja, the total ban would cause very serious damage to the agricultural sector.