The NFU Council this week reaffirmed that the NFU is emphatically not opposed to an uplift in the rate for the moorlands.
The NFU recognises that moorland farmers are vulnerable and have fewer options which is why we want further information and analysis on the overall impact of various planned changes and their impact on different categories of farmers before we can take a definitive decision. The NFU supported the alignment of payment rates for the lowlands and the SDA non-moorland regions.
The most important factor to be considered will be the shape of the new environmental land management scheme (NELMS), which will replace the Entry Level Scheme and the Upland Entry Level Scheme. This should become clearer in the coming month.
The overall CAP budget has been reduced and modulation will be increased in future. The only way to increase payments to farmers in one region is to reduce them in the other two regions. The NFU’s consistent position has been that the negative effects of the CAP Reform must be shared as fairly as possible. Decisions on increases in the payment rates must therefore be based on clear evidence.