Today, 4 January, the Secretary of State Steve Barclay attended the Oxford Farming Conference and gave a speech. He announced the biggest upgrade to farming schemes since the start of the agricultural transition. Here are some of the highlights.
- A 10% increase in the average value of agreements in the Sustainable Farming Incentive and Countryside Stewardship driven by increased payment rates, with uplifts automatically applied to existing agreements.
- A streamlined single application process for farmers to apply for the Sustainable Farming Incentive and Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier.
- Around 50 new actions that farmers can get paid for across all types of farm businesses, including actions for agroforestry and those driving forward agricultural technology such as robotic mechanical weeding.
- Enhanced payments for ‘creation’ and ‘maintenance’ options to improve the long-term incentives for farmers to create habitats and ensure they are rewarded for looking after habitats once they have created them.
- Premium payments for actions with the biggest environmental impact or combinations of actions that deliver benefits at scale, such as £765 per hectare for nesting plots for lapwing, and £1,242 per hectare for connecting river and floodplain habitat.
We are here to assist you to decipher this news and what it means for your farm. Please give Alan Falshaw 01325 728084 or Pat Cotterill 01388 730095 a call.