The United Kingdom will cut connections with Europe’s agriculture subsidy schemes according to Farm Newspaper after it leaves the European Union at the end of the month, which many researchers believe is a positive thing. The UK government suggested significant changes to £3 billion in annual agricultural investment this week, focusing the funds on climate, environmental, and public benefits. Dieter Helm, an economist at the University of Oxford, describes the situation as “dramatic and completely critical.” “We’re in the midst of an agricultural revolution.”
Sequestering carbon in trees or soil, boosting pollinator habitat with pollinator-friendly flowers, and improving public access to the countryside are just a few examples. Direct subsidies in the UK will be phased out over seven years according to farming latest news, beginning in 2022, to make the transition easier, and the new payments for environmental services will be evaluated in experimental projects.
New areas were ploughed according to Farmers News, and hedgerows were ripped away, resulting in erosion. Pollution of the air and water was caused by excessive fertiliser and pesticide use. Pollinators and other species were also impacted as a result of habitat loss. The EU’s common agricultural policy (CAP) was not only expensive in terms of the environment: subsidies accounted for 80% of the EU budget in the 1990s. Even now, the €59 billion CAP accounts for around 40% of EU public spending.
The United Kingdom will now be able to go its own way as a result of Brexit according to a farm newspaper near me. Because the United Kingdom permits Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland to decide their own agriculture policies, the new bill only applies to England, although Helm believes they will all move in the same direction.
The agriculture newspaper states that total funding will not change under the new arrangement, which will be administered by a body created by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), although certain farmers will be impacted more than others. Beef and sheep farms need subsidies more than dairy and wheat farms to be profitable, and without them, they may be abandoned in hardscrabble areas like Scotland.
According to farming news UK, Helm, on the other hand, sees a way to save some of these farms: compensation for carbon sequestration through tree plantations or restored peat lands. Grants for rehabilitating historic structures or improving natural attractiveness could help farms stay afloat while promoting tourism. Other rewards will assist farmers in adapting to climate change or lowering their environmental footprint.
According to agriculture news, about one-eighth of existing farm subsidies in the United Kingdom go to ecologically friendly operations like hedgerow maintenance and other habitat preservation, and these efforts will be expanded. DEFRA intends to use auctions to gain better value for money, with farmers or other land managers bidding for government contracts for environmental services. Reverse auctions have already been used in the UK by water corporations to choose farmers who are compensated for using less fertiliser and pesticides, cutting water treatment costs.
According to the latest farming news DEFRA aims to customise payment structures for different regions but determining how to route payments for optimum benefit will necessitate research. If carbon sequestration payments are applied in the wrong places, they could backfire. Planting trees in peat lands, for example, might dry them out, releasing more greenhouse gases than the trees can ever sequester, according to Bateman.
Farmers, particularly those who run sensitive small businesses according to the latest farming news UK, have been watching all these shifts with bated breath. The National Farmers Union, the UK’s largest agricultural trade group, campaigned for a greater focus on food production support. The government will “have consideration to the need to boost the production of food by producers in England,” according to the final bill, which the union describes as a “strong starting point” for establishing new support programs.