Some of the key facts from the independent Farm Inspection and Regulation Review final report give cause for concern in the light of current Government proposals for direct payments after Brexit.
In England, 2014-2017 the proportion of farm income from direct (CAP) payments is 61%, whilst, even with this income, the proportion of farms making a loss is 16%.
As set out in the above article, recommendations for the future include making regulation efficient, effective, joined-up and seamless for farmers and land managers. However, it is proposed that responsibility for incentives-based regulation (including Environment Land Management scheme payments) be given to the regulator. It is also proposed that the regulator should be responsible for ensuring on-farm, holistic advice is available to farm and land managers.
The report also asks whether those who consistently do not comply with a binding rule should be allowed to apply for public funds to build on opportunities on the farm or land, without adequately dealing with harms.
Another matter of concern is that 50% of slurry storage arrangements are thought to be inadequate, however there is some hope for assistance to remedy this. It is recommended that the Government consider the provision of financial incentives to farmers with poor or insufficient slurry storage facilities and so perhaps there will be some grant funding during the transition period (2021 – 2027).
As is often the case, this is an ever changing scene and for the most up to date advice on the current environmental schemes available or possible grant funding please contact us on 01423 860322.