Paris (AFP)

The Ministry of Agriculture on Wednesday increased from sixty to sixty-nine the total number of departures with a derogation to value fallows, in order to increase the available forage for herds during drought.

This so-called "force majeure" procedure, validated by the European Union, was authorized at the beginning of July in 24 departments, then extended to 60. It allows departments in which a large deficit of grassland is found to resort to their fallows to ensure the feeding of the herds.

However, "the continuing drought in early August continued to degrade the forage resources available for herds in several departments," the ministry said in a statement.

As a result, the Minister of Agriculture Didier Guillaume "has decided to expand to nine new departments, the derogation for force majeure": the Corrèze, the Doubs, the Eure, the Meuse, the Pas de Calais, the Yvelines, the Territoire de Belfort, Essonne and Val d'Oise.

To benefit from this exemption, the farmers of the concerned departments will have to make the request with their Departmental Direction of the territories and the sea (DDTM), specifies the ministry.

Derogations can benefit farmers, but also other farmers as soon as the mowed fodder is sold to a farmer.

The president of the Young Farmers, Samuel Vandaele, however, had recently been moved not to be able to make play the solidarity between departments, for example by cutting fallows in the departments not concerned by the drought, to make it benefit the breeders of the neighboring departments .

"In the departments classified drought, grain farmers can give their fallow to the breeders, personally (on his farm, Ed) I have four hectares that I could give but if I do not have the authorization, I risk a fine, of see me abolish my aid CAP (Common Agricultural Policy), "he said.

Fallows are indeed declared as areas of ecological interest (EIS) in European aid procedures.

© 2019 AFP