The Welsh Government has released their latest proposals for a post-Brexit farm support system. The document, ‘Sustainable Farming and Our Land’, proposes paying farmers through a single scheme, instead of their previously suggested two-tiers.
Payments would be based on achieving results such as improving air and water quality, which would come from producing food in ways it regards as more sustainable. Such methods would include reducing levels of antibiotics used in livestock, applying fertiliser in a targeted way, animal health planning or improving soil husbandry and grassland management.
The payments themselves would be annual, but with contracts over multiple years, allowing farmers to plan around that income. Unlike the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) the payments would be based on outcomes, not entitlements and would only support active farmers – meaning no more cash for simply owning the land.
The last full BPS payments are expected in 2020, and with the UK to still yet to leave the EU, an extension on the transition periods from the existing schemes cannot be ruled out.
The Welsh Government consultation runs until October 30th. You can find out more here: https://gov.wales/revised-proposals-supporting-welsh-farmers-after-brexit.
Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.