The document sets out the Government’s aims between 2021 – 2028 including:
To phase out direct payments and existing agri-environment schemes in a gradual, smooth and orderly way, starting in 2021, with the last Direct Payments to be made in 2027
The introduction of our Environmental Land Management approach to agri-environment schemes, through pilots and tests from 2021-2024; early roll out of some core elements of all components, particularly the Sustainable Farming Incentive, from 2022; with all three components fully available from 2024
To establish an Animal Health and Welfare Pathway
To provide grant support to help farmers maintain and improve productivity, invest in research, development and sustainability through the transition
Replacement of the EU-scheme-based regulation and enforcement with a new, more effective and trusted approach
To provide advice and guidance to farmers to help them make the right decisions for their circumstances
Help for farmers and landowners, through the transition, including support with business planning, training and advice
To help farmers who wish to leave the sector with an exit scheme
DEFRA’s Timeline for Transition
Direct payments begin to reduce with a change in the way cross-compliance is administered
Pilot schemes for ELMs will begin
2022 to 2023
Direct Payments reduce by around 15% in both years
Introduction of the Sustainable Farming Incentive & Slurry Investment Scheme
More money into CSS agreements, launch of the new R&D scheme and the exit support scheme for farmers looking to retire from farming
2024 to 2025
By the end of this period, BPS to be reduced by 50%, with BPS de-linked from land & cross-compliance no longer a requirement
Roll-out of the three tiered ELMS
Last BPS payments
The Costs for DEFRA
DEFRA will continue to spend £2.4bn on agricultural policy in England until 2024. This Plan sets out the changes in the way that money is to be spent working from the 2020 financial ceiling for England.
The prospective shifts in payments over the first half of the Agricultural Transition Period are:
Environment & Animal Health
Overall, Basic Payment (from 2021 including the Greening element) is to have halved by 2024 with the money released redeployed to DEFRA’s goals.
The growing reductions are intended to be:
Up to £30,000
£30,001 – £50,000
£50,001 – £150,000
Direct payment reduction examples – value of payments remaining after reductions in each year:
Existing Environmental Stewardship (ES) and Countryside Stewardship (CS) Payments
DEFRA want: To continue to contribute to our 25 Year Environment Plan and Net Zero goals from now to 2024, and to improve the way the schemes are delivered and managed for agreement holders.
DEFRA will: Continue to open new Countryside Stewardship schemes to new applications to help deliver important environmental benefits, and to create a smooth way for people to move from existing Countryside Stewardship and Higher-Level Stewardship schemes into the three components of our Environmental Land Management scheme from 2024.
Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS)
DEFRA want: To support farmers to deliver public goods and make a significant contribution to the environment.
DEFRA will: Deliver a scheme that is flexible, achieves results and provides more choice to farmers.
Sustainable Farming Incentive
DEFRA want: As many farmers as possible to have the opportunity to deliver environmental actions and improve the sustainability of their land.
DEFRA will: Provide a way for farmers to take part in some of the sustainable farming component of our Environmental Land Management scheme from 2022 onwards.
Animal Health & Welfare
DEFRA want: We need to ensure every livestock farmer is improving the health and welfare of their animals.
DEFRA will: Support livestock farmers in producing healthier, higher welfare animals, through financial assistance, strengthening the regulatory baseline and improving consumer transparency.
Farming Investment Fund
DEFRA think: There is potential for the industry to increase productivity in an environmentally sustainable way, so that they can be profitable and sustainable without relying on Direct Payments.
DEFRA will: Provide grants to farmers, foresters, growers and related contractors so they can invest in equipment, technology, and infrastructure that will improve their profitability and benefit the environment.
New Entrants Support Scheme
DEFRA think: New entrants seeking to develop new land-based businesses find it difficult to access the land they need.
DEFRA will: Provide funding to create lasting opportunities for new entrants to access land, infrastructure and support to establish successful and innovative businesses working with Council Farms and other landowners.
Slurry Investment Scheme
DEFRA want: To meet higher standards. This means farmers will need support to invest in current infrastructure. Raising standards is the only way to meet our environmental targets.
DEFRA will: Provide grant funding for new slurry stores and equipment to protect the environment in ways that exceed current regulatory requirements.
Innovation, Research & Development
DEFRA want: To support innovation and help farmers and growers increase productivity and reduce the environmental impact of agriculture.
DEFRA will: Increase investment in innovation and research and development schemes which bring together researchers, farmers, growers and other agri-food businesses to harness science and deliver practical solutions to address challenges in agriculture.
For more information or to discuss your unique, individual situation, please contact one of our offices and we can arrange to meet virtually or in person, depending on the restrictions when you call.