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Agricultural Transition Plan announced

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

As the UK leaves the EU on 1 January 2021 the agricultural transition period will start for farming businesses.

Between 2021 and 2027 the current subsidy regime, the ‘Basic Payment Scheme’ (BPS) will gradually reduce and then stop. The UK government has now announced its plans to support the agricultural sector, now focussing on the environment, animal health and welfare, and reducing carbon emissions.

There will be three levels of support, aimed at

  • paying for sustainable farming practices
  • creating habitats for nature recovery
  • making landscape-scale change (such as establishing new woodland and other ecosystem services).

Some options will be open to all farmers and land managers, while others will be more targeted at a smaller number of large projects. There will also be grants aimed at supporting farmers

  • to reduce their costs and improve their profitability
  • to help those who want to retire or leave the sector
  • to create new opportunities and support for new entrants coming into the sector.

As part of the transition, BPS payments will be cut at differing levels in 2021, with higher cuts for the recipients of higher amounts, followed by flat rate cuts of 15% over the years 2022-2024. Countryside Stewardship applications will remain open until 2023 and the new Sustainable Farming Incentive will be gradually introduced from 2022 as part of the process of introducing the wider Environmental Land Management scheme (ELM). These payments will be accessible to all BPS applicants who can deliver the required actions

The full extent of ELM is still under development and it will not be fully available until 2024. ELM will ultimately consist of three components:

  • the Sustainable Farming Incentive
  • Local Nature Recovery
  • Landscape Recovery.

There are a number of other schemes and projects that will be phased in between 2021 and 2024 but much of the detail of ELM is still to be provided.  This will make it difficult for the farming sector to make business plans going forward until there is more clarity and so  there are challenging times ahead.

For further information click here.

Ika Částka

Posted:

Ika Částka

Partner

Ika is Head of the Commercial Property team and has been advising individuals and businesses across Northamptonshire since 1986, specialising in commercial, agricultural and rural property matters for both businesses and individuals.