General News

General News

New Cumbria & North Lancashire Farming, Food & Rural Group

The Federation of Cumbria Commoners is a member of the new Cumbria & North Lancashire Farming, Food & Rural Group set up by Defra. Will Cockbain, former uplands spokesman for the NFU and board member for Natural England will be chairing the Group.

Environment Minister, Richard Benyon said;

“We are giving rural communities a new voice so that their interests will not be neglected by Government as they have been in the past.

NSA Briefing on the discovery of Schmallenberg virus in England

This briefing comes from the National Sheep Association website see http://www.nationalsheep.org.uk/

Introduction

Natural England's fresh approach to hill farming?

An article in last week's Famers Weekly (29th February) noted that Natural England is adopting a more conciliatory approach to hill farmers - driven by farmer pressure for more dialogue and the need for a greater understanding of upland livestock management issues. Natural England look set to establish a working framework to enable hill farmers to feel their businesses are being supported, rather than threatened, by the need to preserve the upland environment.

Upland Farm Incomes increase

Average farm business income in the Less Favoured Areas was £31,100 per farm. It increased by 49% between 2006/07 and 2010/11, but remains at a relatively low level – without the Single Payment Scheme and agri-environment payments on average grazing livestock farms would have made a loss in each of the last 5 years. 37% of grazing livestock farms in Less Favoured Areas undertook a diversified activity and 26% indicated that all of their household income was provided by the farm.

Is Natural England shifting towards a better balance for the uplands?

Upland farmers need not be left out of the challenge of increasing food production, an NFU conference early bird meeting has heard.

While speakers from Defra and Natural England stressed the importance of sustainable intensification, there was what outgoing NFU uplands spokesman Will Cockbain recognised as a new willingness to “have the debate” on issues around stocking densities and ‘productive’ farming.

For Natural England that has meant a move away from its controversial Uplands Vision document of 2009, which chairman Poul Christensen said had ‘let his organisation down badly’.

Proposals for CAP rules on permanent pasture raise concerns

The European Forum for Nature Conservation and Pastoralism (EFNCP) has just published a leaflet outlining farming and conservation organisations' fears and proposals concerning the current CAP rules on permanent pasture and those being considered for 2014 - 2020.

Farming takes centre stage

Jim Paice MP, Defra Minister of State told the Oxford Farming Conference that we have to produce more, waste less, distribute it more efficiently and do so with much less energy and use of resources whilst protecting our biodiversity and also with less water. We need a CAP which encourages efficiency with added value for the taxpayer and the environment. We need the best research, technology and knowledge transfer. Farming needs its own professional body to look after its technical and business expertise.

Recent changes to Environmental Stewardship (ES)

Natural England has published a ‘package’ of information on its website outlining how the Environmental Stewardship (ES) programme will operate for the remaining two years of its current programme. The idea is to give farmers and advisors an overview of what is coming up and the chance to plan accordingly.

An Information Note containing a summary of the information, including budgets for the next two years, has been produced. Various other supporting documents are also available:

Latest Bracken Control Group Newsletter

To read the latest newsletter from The Braken Control Group click here https://app.e2ma.net/app/view:CampaignPublic/id:1357851.7739878484/rid:2...

Single Payment Schemes 2012 - Top Tips from RPA

Take action now to help avoid unnecessary delays or reductions and make your SPS 2012 claim as straightforward as possible. Click here to register now to see the online services on offer. More and more farmers and agents are using the electronic service - over 31,000 applied online in 2011. Benefits include: on-screen checks to reduce errors, instant proof of receipt, no postage costs or delays, claim tracking and view and print claim statements and entitlements statements. Go to the RPA website to find out more http://rpa.defra.gov.uk/rpa

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