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Tue 28 July 2020
Farmers in England are set to benefit from reduced red tape while applying for the 2021 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) as the government have abolished EU greening rules as part of the transition to their new, and direct payment replacement, the Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS).
Greening rules have required farmers to carry out specific practices, such as permanent grass land as well as crop diversification and a 5% ecological focus area. The Government have stated that historically, these practices have contributed very little to the environment and the environment is the primary focus in their BPS replacement ELMs scheme that is set to be introduced in 2024.
Commenting on the announcement, Charles Raine, Director at youngsRPS said: “ELMs is set to deliver huge benefits to the environment, while we await further clarification as to what the scheme entails, the news that greening rules will no longer play a role in BPS applications is a step in the right direction as we know that they provided less environmental benefit in comparison to previous schemes such as Entry Level Stewardship (ELS), instead, created a lot of hoops for our farmers to jump through, preventing them from using their land more efficiently.”
The move away from BPS and the introduction of ELMs is referred to as the agricultural transition period and is set to last for seven years. So far, we know that ELMs will be a tiered scheme and concentrate on farmers being rewarded for public goods, such as tree or hedge planting, river management to mitigate flooding, and creating or restoring habitats for wildlife.
“The transition period will result in opportunity for farmers to plan their future, we have been encouraging our clients to think about their business model without subsidies for many years now, however, those that wish to apply for ELMs will have prepare. We hope for further clarification of what the scheme will entail in the Autumn and will suggest that time spent on greening rules can be utilised accordingly.”