It was confirmed by the UK Government today that an early rollout of a new environmental land management scheme will be put in place to reward farmers for adopting more sustainable farming approaches. This means there are now two different ways to get rewarded!
Farmers who were eligible in receiving Basic Payment Scheme payments can sign up with Sustainable Farming Incentive from next spring, and those not qualified but interested in trying this out should contact their local Rural Payments Agency office or Environment Ministry Headquarters to find out about other eligibility criteria.
The latest government initiative is designed specifically as an incentive system – it was created so people would have encouragement and motivation towards following environmentally sound practices when practicing agriculture. It also provides much-needed relief on one’s total annual income by subsidising sustainability efforts like crop rotation, and crop planting.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced a new scheme to provide support to farmers in environmental management. This is expected to help with the widespread adoption of more sustainable approaches on all types of farms by maintaining or enhancing the natural environment, reducing carbon emissions or improving animal welfare.
The report stated, “In the years ahead, we will expand the Sustainable Farming Incentive as we apply our learning and more funding becomes available. We will build on an initial set of standards and join up our approach as we take the first steps on a new animal health and welfare pathway.
The ethos at the heart of our future policy is to support the choices of individual farm enterprises. I am committed to working with farmers to ensure that we get our future policy right – and the Sustainable Farming Incentive is the first step.”
Defra are expected to begin the rollout process in March 2021 which will see several hundred farmers involved in the first phase of this scheme. Following this, plans for 2022 are in order for them to receive their first addition of the Basic Payment Scheme.
This scheme stands alongside the Agricultural Transition Plan first published in November 2020.
Payments of between £26 and £70 per hectare will be offered for management practices that enhance soil health by improving the environment.