Dairy farmers urged to sign-up to government pilot that will replace BPS

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Written by William Kellett

The Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) is urging dairy producers to sign up for the pilot of the Sustainable Farming Incentive, one of three schemes that will make up the Environment Land Management Scheme (ELMS).

Also Read: Government encourages farmers to take part in Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot
The government is seeking ‘several hundred’ farmers to take part in the pilot with expressions of interest opening from Monday, March 15.

The scheme will then be rolled-out in 2022, which will initially be available to Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) recipients.

The Sustainable Farming Incentive is the first of three schemes to be piloted and co-designed.

It will replace BPS and instead reward farmers and land managers for sustainable farming practices.

Gradual reduction in BPS payments

Further information on the other two schemes, Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery, will be shared by government later this year.

The schemes will operate together and pay for sustainable farming practices; improve animal health and welfare; improve environmental outcomes; and reduce carbon emissions.

The piloting and implementation of the three future schemes will be funded by gradual reductions in BPS payments from 2021 to 2027.

The Sustainable Farming Incentive will support approaches to farming that deliver for the environment, such as actions to improve soil health, hedgerows and integrated pest management.

RABDF managing director Matt Knight encouraged dairy farmers to look at the pilot and sign-up:

The pilot must contain a mix of farm types and as such, we must have a fair number of dairy farmers from a mix of different systems represented.
“I would encourage everyone to look at the details of the Sustainable Farming Incentive and sign up for the pilot.

“This is our one chance to help shape how future support payments will work,” he concluded.

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