Lump-sum exit scheme and delinked payments consultation launched by DEFRA

Defra have published the lump sum exit scheme and delinked payments consultation, which will run for 12 weeks and will close on 11th August 2021.

https://consult.defra.gov.uk/agricultural-policy/lump-sum-and-delinked-payments-england/

The consultation invites you to submit your views on:

  • the proposed lump sum exit scheme
  • our proposed approach to delinked payments

The consultation follows the publication of the Agricultural Transition Plan in November last year. In the plan, Defra announced the intention to offer lump sum exit payments to farmers in England in 2022, and to replace the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) with delinked payments in 2024.

The lump-sum exit scheme.

  • In 2022, Defra plans to offer farmers in England who wish to exit the industry the option of taking a lump sum payment in place of any further Direct Payments. We believe this will help those who wish to retire or leave the industry to do so in a planned way.
  • The lump sum exit scheme will make more space for the next generation of farmers, as well as providing opportunities for existing farmers who wish to expand to improve their profitability. It will sit alongside extra support to help new entrants into the industry.
  • The consultation seeks views on who should be eligible for the lump sum exit scheme and how the payments should be calculated.

Delinked payments.

  • Defra plan to ‘delink’ Direct Payments from the land for all farmers in 2024. This means that recipients will no longer have to farm the land to receive the payments. Delinked payments will replace the current BPS for all farmers in England.
  • As recipients will no longer need to meet the current BPS rules, this will simplify the payments as we phase them out over the remainder of the agricultural transition.
  • Those who continue farming will still have to comply with legal standards that protect the environment, animal and plant health, and animal welfare.
  • The consultation seeks views on the reference period to be used to determine eligibility for, and calculate the value of, delinked payments.

AHDB Spring Planting and Variety Survey 2021

What is the Planting and Variety Survey?
The AHDB Planting and Variety Survey provides the earliest view of Great Britain planted area for the upcoming harvest.
The Planting Survey will provide an estimate of the area of cereals and oilseed rape intended for harvest in 2021 in Great Britain. The Variety Survey aims to assess the varietal composition of the wheat, barley, oats and oilseed rape crops in Great Britain.

Why is it important for me and the industry?
By publishing the results, AHDB aims to accurately quantify the harvested area of the UK, which can assist in the marketing decisions made by all levy payers.
This information can be used to shape our domestic market and trade. It can also detail regional differences of cropping across GB.
Knowing more about the domestic market is one key part of forming marketing strategies in a post-subsidy world, and have impartial accurate information and data is the key for the greater industry.
What do I need to do next?
Simply provide the area harvested in 2020 and your intended harvest area for 2021, together with the variety, for each crop listed. This can be easily and simply completed via our online portal.
The results of the Planting Survey will be available online at ahdb.org.uk in July, and more detailed analysis will be available in the AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds market pages.

Welsh Water Dwr Cymru “Pesticide Disposal Scheme 2021”

Following its success in 2019 and 2020 Welsh Water have relaunched their Free and Confidential Pesticide Disposal Scheme in 2021. This scheme is part of the PestSmart project.

It is open to farmers, growers, gamekeepers, foresters, and other land managers in parts of south Shropshire and parts of Herefordshire.

  • It offers the opportunity to safely dispose of any unwanted, out of date or unlicensed pesticides and herbicides for free.
  • The registration window closes on 31st May. The collections will take place over the coming summer and autumn.
  • To find out if you are in the eligible area, and to register for the scheme click HERE

Latest situation with Avian Influenza in England

Latest situation with Avian Influenza

Defra announced today (19th March) that the risk of avian influenza to both wild and kept birds has reduced to ‘medium’.

  • The Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) requiring enhanced biosecurity will remain in force, but Wednesday 31 March 2021 will be the last day poultry and other captive birds will need to be housed (housing restrictions end 23:59 31 March 2021).
  • Bird gatherings are still prohibited.
  • High standards of biosecurity remain essential as infection may still be present in the environment.

 

Please see the AIPZ section for further details of the measures that apply in the AIPZ and the Defra guidance on How to prepare for when your free-range birds can be let outside again

This includes:

  • cleansing and disinfection of hard surfaces,
  • fencing off ponds or standing water,
  • reintroduction of wild bird deterrents.

 

When the birds are allowed out from 1st April, poultry and captive bird keepers will need to keep taking extra precautions, such as:

  • cleaning and disinfecting equipment and vehicles,
  • limiting access to non-essential people on site,
  • anyone coming into contact with the birds changing their clothing and footwear before entering bird enclosures.

Herefordshire Council’s “Seasonal Workers on Farms Survey 2021”

Herefordshire farmers are invited to take part in Herefordshire Council’s Seasonal Workers on Farms Survey 2021.  The survey asks for your best estimates about the number of seasonal workers from overseas that you expect to employ during the course of this year, and also about your experiences last year.

The Council know that Herefordshire welcomes thousands of workers from overseas each year, and that farms and growers have a really good understanding about the needs of their own workforce.  However, there is no source of this data for the county as a whole: for example, to know how reliant our economy as a whole is on seasonal workers; how many workers may be in the county at any one time – and when the peak months are; or which languages are most commonly spoken.

This gap in their collective understanding was highlighted last year, when the local COVID-19 response needed to support employers to implement appropriate measures to keep workers safe and prevent the spread of the virus.  The Council hope that by reinstating our annual survey, which you may have contributed to in the past, they can be more proactive in that support this year and in the future.

You can submit your completed survey in a number of ways:

You can complete this survey online by entering the following into your browser https://wh1.snapsurveys.com/s.asp?k=161467762962

Click on this link below to download and print out the survey for you to complete.
Seasonal migrant workers on Herefordshire farms survey 2021 – FINAL 1.1

  • You can scan your completed questionnaire and email it to researchteam@herefordshire.gov.uk
  • Or you can return your completed questionnaire by post to the Herefordshire Council Research Team, Plough Lane, Hereford, HR4 0LE.

Please send your responses by Wednesday 17th March  as soon as possible – deadline extended by at least 2 weeks.  

Even if you don’t employ seasonal workers from overseas, if you submit a nil return the Council can update their records – and it will stop them sending you a reminder.  They appreciate how busy you are, so if you have any questions or there is any way they can help, please get in touch at researchteam@herefordshire.gov.uk or on 01432 261944.

Countryside Stewardship Mid-Tier Advice programme 2021

Chris Seabridge & Associates Ltd are delivering the above contract for East and West Midlands on behalf of Natural England.

They are delivering the following activities aimed at outlining the Tier System and designing robust agreements to benefit businesses and the local environment.

1) Countryside Stewardship FREE online Events.

The events will be hosted on the following dates and will be delivered by Jim Egan.

  • Thursday 25th March at 1.00pm – 2.30pm
  • Tuesday 30th March at 7.00pm – 8.30pm
  • Monday 12th April at 8.30am – 10.00am
  • Tuesday 4th May at 2.00pm – 3.30pm
  • Wednesday 19th May at 7.00pm – 8.30pm

For bookings please call 07593 449868 or email bookings@chrisseabridge.co.uk quoting the event you would like to attend.
Please provide name, address, contact telephone number, email address and farm SBI number when booking.
You will then be emailed the joining details.

2) FREE online 1:1 Advice sessions 

Delivered by approved Farm Advisers.  The sessions will cover

  • a) Application Preparation Advice
  • b) Pre application Submission Advice.

For bookings please call 07593 449868 or email bookings@chrisseabridge.co.uk.
Please provide name, address, contact telephone number, email address and farm SBI number.
A suitable appointment will then be arranged.

3) They will also be providing

1-to-1 advice on CS Mid Tier Options requiring approval 

More information will follow as lockdown restrictions hopefully release.

Bartonsham Meadows grazing land available for rent

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust and Friends of Bartonsham Meadows have recently been informed that grazing land at Bartonsham Meadows will be available for rent this year.  The Church Commissioners are keen to find someone, for one or two years initially, to manage the site on the edge of Hereford City, with a view to longer term agreement options in future years.  Over the past year Friends of Bartonsham Meadows have been working in partnership with HWT and in discussion with the Church Commissioners to support a transition to regenerative and socially beneficial land-use practices on the meadows.  We are now seeking to work with a like-minded land manager/farmer to help make this a reality.  The site comprises of circa 110 acres of floodplain meadow on the southern side of Hereford City and was formerly the home of Bartonsham Dairy.

Click on the link below to see the map of the Bartonsham Farm Meadows

Bartonsham Farm Area

For more information please contact Andrew Nixon at the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust

Email:  a.nixon@herefordshirewt.co.uk or phone 07468 790 307

 

Free online workshops for farmers in Wye Valley and Malvern Hills AONBs

If you farm in the Wye Valley or Malvern Hills Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), you are invited to attend a free online workshop to:

  • Find out about the latest changes to the Countryside Stewardship Scheme
  • Hear from farmers already in agri-environment schemes
  • Learn about the ‘Farming in Protected Landscapes’ scheme, announced in the Agricultural Transition Plan, to support farmers and land managers in AONBs and National Parks, to help them diversify their income streams and lay the groundwork for the Environmental Land Management scheme.

There is a choice of 3 workshops.

  • Monday 22nd February (5-6:30pm), or
  • Thursday 4th March (5-6:30pm), or
  • Tuesday 23rd March (1-2:30pm).

Register for one of these workshops now at www.landscapesforlife.org.uk/workshops

 

Farmers and land managers in the Malvern Hills AONB can contact

Paul Esrich (AONB Partnership Manager) for more information.
Email: pesrich@worcestershire.gov.uk   Tel: 01905 845057

 

For the Wye Valley AONB contact Nick Critchley (AONB Development Officer).
Email: development@wyevalleyaonb.org.uk   Tel: 07904 017982

 To help farmers in the Wye Valley AONB …

… to prepare for landscape, habitat and nature recovery schemes, the Wye Valley AONB Partnership are also able to offer the following:

  • Phase 1 Habitat maps showing semi-natural vegetation and wildlife habitats on your farm, or if the data doesn’t exist a free survey.
  • AONB Management Plan information, including Landscape Management Zones, features and Special Qualities relevant to your farm.

To request Wye Valley AONB data or for more information, please contact Wye Valley AONB Development Officer, Nick Critchley at development@wyevalleyaonb.org.uk or 07904 017982.