The Government has just released the first tranche of technical ‘no Brexit deal’ notices. The announcement covers rural development, including agri-environment schemes. It gives required certainty that: Existing agri-environment agreements will be fully funded until the end of the agreement; and, new Countryside Stewardship agreements can be entered in to during 2019 and 2020. These will be fully funded until the end of the agreement.
The NFU has asked for more flexibility within agri-environment in response to the drought. These include short term changes to help with the provision of forage.
Payment progress remains quite slow with around 2,500 agreement holders who still have not received a payment for 2017. The NFU continues to put pressure on Defra to improve delivery and payments are one of our key asks in response to the drought.
The full member only briefing can be accessed here.