On 12th September the Government presented the Agriculture Bill to Parliament, together with announcements about the future of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS). At present there is not a high level of detail but these proposals build on the consultation and other Government statements that have been issued over the year.
We have already had confirmation that the BPS 2019 will remain the same as 2018 and we now understand it will also stay largely the same for 2020, but with some minor modifications. After 2020 is when the real changes will start occurring to BPS as the scheme is being phased out between 2021 and 2027 with no payment after 2027.
Countryside Stewardship Agreements will continue until 2024, dependent on the speed of the roll out of the new Environmental Land Management Scheme which is intended to be fully up and running by 2025. This new scheme is likely to cover a wider variety of things, but include many of the factors that are currently within Countryside Stewardship with a focus on public money for public goods.
There will also be money for research and development started on farms and transitional support to help improve productivity to deliver public goods with investment in equipment and technology. This may be similar to current Rural Development Programmes and will be funded from the reduction in direct payments.
Whilst we are at an early stage, today’s announcement indicates the direction of travel for agricultural policy and means we can start to plan for the effects it will have on agricultural businesses.
To discuss the Agriculture Bill in more detail, please contact either Andrew Jenkinson, Partner & Rural Surveyor on 01280 818905 / email@example.com or Polly Sewell, Partner & Rural Surveyor on 01234 362933 /.