General News

General News

£20 million for farming and forestry businesses

Agriculture Minister Jim Paice launched a new £20 million fund, the Farming and Forestry Improvement Scheme, to help rural businesses increase profits and reduce their impact on the environment in early November.

Farmers, foresters and horticulturalists can apply for grants of between £2,500 and £25,000 to invest in green projects and new machinery so their businesses can grow in an environmentally friendly way to:
• save energy and reduce carbon emissions;

CAP reform at a glance

We will be providing more information on how the CAP reform proposals affect commoners in due course. Starter for 10, the 10 key points of the reform proposals are as follows:

1) More targeted income support: fairer, simpler and more targeted support, fairly distributed among "active" farmers. Direct support payments capped at €300,000 in any one year.

2) More responsive and adequate crisis management tools: Safety nets for products most at risk of crisis, including private storage and public intervention, and the creation of insurance and mutual funds.

Update on Asulam for bracken control

Some of you will be aware that the chemical Asulam, used to control bracken, is to be removed from the market. However Defra and others are still trying to reverse the EU decision.

Simon Thorpe, from the Heather Trust, has updated the situation. As I now understand it Asulam will still be available for use 2012 under the use-up provisions. The message is that as far as possible it will be business as usual. During 2012, the contractors (helicopter and ground based companies) will be able to apply Asulam for landowners and managers, providing it was purchased before 31 December 2011.

Let's not rush into change on our uplands

The July issue of Cumbria Farmer has an article from Julia Aglionby, one or our committee members. In this article Julia considers Natural England’s target to see 25% of the uplands wooded by 2060.

Julia believes that a sudden increase in woodland planting is not sensible or practical for the following reasons:
• The current stewardship schemes on commons are not fit for the task, as woodland establishment requires sheep exclusion for 20 – 50 years and Natural England can only offer payments for 10 years

The Lake District is increasingly being seen as non-farmer friendly

An article in the July 8th edition of Farmers Weekly features fell farmers' concerns over the de-stocking policies of fell land being imposed by Higher Level and Entry Level Stewardship schemes.

First issue of Natural England's Land Management Update

To read Natural England's new newsletter, keeping farmers, stakeholders and land managers up-to-date on Environmental Stewardship and Land Management click here.

Plan to slash red tape unveiled

RICHARD Macdonald’s farming red tape task force has challenged the Government to ‘establish an entirely new culture of regulation’ to ease the burden on farmers.

The former NFU director general’s long awaited Farming Regulation Task Force report was formally presented to Farming Minister Jim Paice today.

Containing around 214 recommendations, it lays out a new model of regulation that, if adopted by Ministers, could have a profound impact on the way farming businesses operate in future.

EFRA Report: The CAP after 2013

The House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee has published its report into the future of the CAP after 2013. The report criticised the plans for the ‘greening’ of the SPS as an unnecessary complication within the CAP. It also questioned DEFRA’s stance of pushing for the abolition of direct aid. The Committee stated that it should remain until at least 2020,
and that DEFRA would not be ‘credible or effective’ in negotiations if it adopted such an extreme position.

Commons and Pillar 1 Support post-2013

The Defra Commons Team invited comments on a paper they submitted to the National Common Land Stakeholder Group's meeting on 23 May 2011, as a basis for discussion about the future of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Pillar 1 support in relation to common land, and particularly actively grazed upland commons, in England.

The read the Federation's response click on the link below.

To download a copy of the Defra paper, click on the link below.

Sustainable Management of UK Peatlands

UK peatlands provide society with a wide range of “ecosystem services”: In good condition, they help regulate our climate, provide clean water, reduce downstream flood risk, support wildlife and provide us all with wild, open spaces in which to roam and escape. However, many peatlands have been damaged by former activities such as drainage and over-grazing.Sustainable management is essential to maintain the wide range of benefits that peatlands provide.

Syndicate content