The publication of Defra’s Agricultural Transition Plan (ATP) on 30 November provides more information on the development of ELMs. As ELMs is four years away from agreements being on the ground the ATP outlines the development steps before we reach ELMs roll out. The ATP provides a framework or a skeleton for ELMs development with much of the detail to follow.
The ATP outlines that ELMs will be made up of three elements:
- The Sustainable Farming Incentive
- Local Nature Recovery
- Landscape recovery
These will be developed over the coming years with pilots, tests and trials, and larger scale roll out prior to 2024. The ATP also introduces a Protected Landscapes Scheme.
The development of ELMs will be iterative over the next few years. There is huge potential for confusion and this needs to be addressed by Defra with clear communications. The NFU will engage with Defra throughout the process to ensure farmers views are represented.
Considering the proposed BPS reductions, the NFU welcomes the introduction of the Sustainable Farming Incentive in 2022. This does need to be a truly sustainable scheme that recognises that businesses need to be viable to deliver environmental schemes.
The NFU welcomes the high levels of engagement that Defra have set out, along with the need for ELMs 2024 to be trusted by farmers, with farmers having more control and a payment set at a financially viable and fair level. Only when the detail emerges will it be possible to establish if these ambitions are achieved.
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