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New Agriculture Bill - Opportunity or Threat?

Mon 29 October 2018

The Agriculture Bill published on 12 September 2018 sets out the Government’s vision for the farming industry in a post Brexit world. As expected, direct support via the Basic Payment Scheme will be phased out between 2022 – 2027. The impact will be seen before then however, as capping of payments to all claimants will begin in 2021. 

DEFRA has confirmed that the requirement to farm the land will no longer be a prerequisite to claiming the Basic Payment, however the exact details of this remain to be confirmed. It does however present potential opportunities for changes in occupation of land and how it is farmed.

With the removal of direct support, focus will turn to payments for environmental and public goods in the form of a new Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme. Whilst the existing Countryside Stewardship (CS) will remain in place, the new ELM scheme will be trialled in the coming years and it is anticipated that the first agreement would commence in 2025.

Other matters addressed in the Bill include:
  • Investment in research and development to increase productivity
  • A higher animal welfare standard
  • Increased transparency in the supply chain.

The publication of the Bill confirms what was already anticipated for the future of farming industry. The transition period up to 2027 gives a timeframe in which farmers and landowners will be able to review existing arrangements and farming businesses in order to be more resilient in the future.

To discuss this further and how it may impact you please contact Ben Lee or Nic Burchell at RH & RW Clutton for more information.


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