- If you require advice from one of our consultants, do not hesitate to contact them by email or phone. If you do not have their details please contact the office on 01664 503200 or email [email protected]
- The Farming Investment Fund (FIF) is now open. It is designed to help farmers invest in new technology and equipment. The scheme is similar to the previous Countryside Productivity Scheme including two elements – for small and large investments. The Farming Equipment and Technology Fund is the small-scale scheme. This pays a fixed amount for specific items of equipment (usually 40% of the cost). Min. grant £2,000, max. £25,000. The full list can be seen at – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/farming-equipment-and-technology-fund-round-1-manual/annex-3-eligible-items-specification-and-grant-amount. This round of funding is open until the 7th January 2022. The Farming Transformation Fund is for larger items of spending with grants of between £35,000 and £500,000 (again, based on a 40% grant rate). The grant funds projects in three areas; Water Management (open now), Improving Productivity (opening later this year) and Adding Value (opening early next year). Full details can be seen at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/farming-investment-fund
- The latest Farm Business Income (FBI) figures show a surprising rise. The data shows the profit for an average full-time farm in each of the main sectors of English farming. The data is for the 2020/21 year (March to Feb) which covers the 2020 harvest, 2020 BPS payments and the first months of the Covid outbreak. All sectors, apart from General Cropping and Poultry showed higher year-on-year profits. And, overall, FBI rose by 5% on the year.
- The Environment Bill finally received Royal Assent on the 9th November 2021. The Act is likely to have a long-term impact on farming for many years. However, the effects will not be immediate, detailed provisions (in most cases) will need to be introduced through secondary legislation. One of the main areas to impact agriculture will be the setting of long-term, legally enforceable, targets (for Government) for the improvement of air quality, water, waste reduction and biodiversity.
- Details of how the BPS Lump Sum payment and Delinking are to work were expected in October, but Defra has announced these will now be delayed and has said they will be available ‘by the end of 2021’. As the Lump Sum exit scheme is expected to open in 2022 and is only supposed to be a ‘one-off’ this will give anyone hoping to take advantage of this and their advisors very little time to get to grips with the detail and understand the rules.
- The results from the annual Early Bird Survey of UK planting intentions for harvest 2022 shows a rise in both the OSR and wheat area. The former by 13% to 345,000 ha, with the latter up by only 1.5% to 1.81m ha (1.82m ha 2019 levels). The fallow area also shows an increase, but surprisingly, given the price of N, the area planted to pulses is forecast to decline by 5%. Both the oat and barley areas are also expected to fall. The total barley area intended to be planted is down by 4%. However, winter barley is expected to increase, but spring barley plantings are forecast to fall by a larger amount (-8%). It is worth highlighting at this stage these figures represent intentions, rather than confirmed plantings. Spring acreages are still very much open to change, dependent on the price of both outputs and inputs (especially this season).
- There have been multiple reported cases of Avian Flu over the last month and a number of 3km Protection Zones and 10km Surveillance Sites have been put in place across the country. It is now a legal requirement for all bird keepers across the UK to keep their birds indoors and to follow strict biosecurity measures in order to limit the spread of the disease. All the latest information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu
- The Welsh Government has announced a 12-week consultation period on proposed changes to the Bovine TB eradication programme. The full consultation, which can be found at https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/consultations/2021-11/refreshed-tb-consultation-document.pdf
- A reminder that the Future Farm Resilience Fund is now open. If you would like a one-to-one farm resilience review and report carried out by one of our consultants and access to online skills and training, including resilience planning webinars all for free get in touch with one of our consultants. Places are limited. More information can be found at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/ricardo-future-farming-resilience-fund-29430290977
This month’s Spotlight looks at the latest detail and payment rates for the Sustainable Farming Incentive 2022 (SFI 2022). This is the initial element of the SFI and will be available next year Click Here for further information.
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