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Pilot Forestry Investment Zone launched in Cumbria

18 October 2018

A new pilot Forestry Investment Zone has been launched in Cumbria today. The pilot is to run for two years and "will be used as a test-case for rolling out the initiative more widely around the country". Please see GOV.UK for further information.

BSE Case Confirmed in Aberdeenshire

18 October 2018

The BBC News website is reporting that there has been a case of BSE confirmed on a farm in Aberdeenshire. Further information is also available on the Scottish Government website.

Government appoints Shale Gas Commissioner

08 October 2018

The Government has appointed a Shale Gas Commissioner to provide a link between local communities, the shale gas industry and regulators. Former MP Natascha Engel will take up the new post this week.

Natural Resources Wales confirms position on pheasant shooting

21 September 2018

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has confirmed that it will not renew leases for pheasant shooting rights on land that it manages when they end in March 2018. Further information is available on the NRW website.

£3m funding for Catchment Sensitive Farming advice on reducing ammonia emissions from agriculture

18 September 2018

It has been confirmed that £3 million funding is being made available for a specialist team under the Catchment Sensitive Farming partnership to help implement the measures set out in the new Code of Good Agricultural Practice (COGAP) for Reducing Ammonia Emissions. Further information is available on GOV.UK.

Use BPS time window for change, says CAAV

12 September 2018

Press release

12 September 2018

 

Use BPS time window for change, says CAAV

The new Agriculture Bill has fired a starting gun for England’s farmers to manage post-Brexit change, according to the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers.

Farmers have been awaiting details on what post-Brexit policy and payments will look like – and now they know, they should act, says Jeremy Moody, secretary and adviser to the CAAV. “We have been given a clear timeframe for the complete removal of BPS for English farmers.  BPS is to be phased out from 2021 to 2027 and then it will be gone. That gives a time window in which farmers and their advisers should review their businesses, consider how best to handle the likely erosion of margins, and deliver the necessary changes.”

Based on his own calculations, Mr Moody expects BPS to be cut by 5% in 2021, with those receiving larger payments seeing cuts of up to 25%, with further phasing out thereafter (see table). “This will release money for new land management schemes – although environmental payments will not replace that loss in margins.”

Farmers therefore need to plan ahead, whether to control costs or change enterprise, embrace innovation and new technology, make new investments, win planning permissions, manage succession, exploit assets, add value or improve marketing. 

“Leaving it too late will see the business on the receiving end of change, not managing it,” explains Mr Moody. “The task is to find how best the business and the family can achieve and retain a financial margin in a more commercial and challenging world.”

Some of the money removed from BPS will go towards grants to help farmers become more efficient and productive, but there will be a limited time window in which they can be claimed. Defra has also confirmed that payments will no longer be linked to active farming – enabling retirement and freeing up land for change.

“While we inevitably await much detail, the Government has now clearly stated the direction of travel and a timetable for the progressive loss of BPS,” says Mr Moody. “With that knowledge, farmers now need to drive change in their businesses, with the support of professional advisers over a sensible time frame. After a period of great uncertainty, they can now lay solid and effective foundations for the future profitability of farming and rural land use, replacing income support with improved commercial viability.”

 

Table – Likely changes in BPS, based on CAAV calculations

2020 Payment

£15,000

£30,000

£50,000

£80,000

£120,000

£250,000

2021

£14,250

£28,250

£46,500

£70,500

£102,500

£201,500

2022

£12,200

£24,400

£39,900

£60,400

£87,900

£172,700

2023

£10,200

£20,400

£33,200

£50,400

£73,200

£143,900

2024

£8,150

£16,300

£26,600

£40,300

£58,600

£115,100

2025

£6,100

£12,200

£19,900

£30,200

£43,900

£86,400

2026

£4,100

£8,200

£13,300

£20,100

£29,300

£57,600

2027

£2,000

£4,100

£6,700

£10,000

£14,700

£28,800

2028

£0

£0

£0

£0

£0

£0

 

 

About the CAAV

The Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV) is a specialist professional body representing, qualifying and briefing over 2700 members practising in a diverse range of agricultural and rural work throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

CAAV members are agricultural and rural valuers who provide professional advice and valuation expertise on issues affecting the countryside from tenancy matters to sales and purchase of farms and land, from taxation and compulsory purchase to auctioneering, and from conservation issues to farming structures.

We are always happy to speak to the press – if you have any queries please contact Olivia Cooper, partner at Agri-hub PR services, on 01392 840009 or email Olivia@agri-hub.co.uk.

 

Agriculture Bill to be introduced into Parliament today

12 September 2018

The Agriculture Bill is being introduced into Parliament today and sets out in broad terms how the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) will be replaced in England by an Environmental Land Management system which is to use "public money for public goods" and will begin tests and trials next year (2019) and pilots from 2021.

  • BPS will remain "on the same basis as now" for 2019 and 2020, with simplifications being made where possible. There will then be a 7 year "agricultural transition" period from 2021 to 2027 when BPS will be phased out.
  • Capping is to be applied to all BPS claimants, rather than just those with high payments as suggested in DEFRA's Health and Harmony consultation, but those with higher payments will be subject to a bigger reduction.
  • BPS payments are to be "delinked" during the "agricultural transition" period (2021-2027) from the existing requirement to carry out an "agricultural activity" on agricultural land. Instead, the payments "may be calculated according to money received in previous years", so could see an historic reference period applied.
  • BPS 2027 will be the final year of direct payments.

Further details will be given on this website once the Bill has been published.

DEFRA announces new pilot scheme for 2,500 seasonal workers

06 September 2018

The Home Secretary and Environment Secretary have announced a nationwide, two year pilot to allow fruit and vegetable farmers to employ seasonal workers from outside the EU. 2,500 seasonal workers will be permitted to come into the UK annually. The Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme pilot will be run by two operators who will be announced in "due course". They will oversee placement of workers. The pilot is due to start in spring 2019 and will run until 31st December 2020.

Further information is available on GOV.UK and the announcement of the pilot has been welcomed by the Scottish Secretary, David Mundell

Dominic Raab gives statement to Parliament updating on progress with Brexit negotiations

04 September 2018

The Secretary of State for the Department for Exiting the European Union, The Rt Hon Dominic Rabb MP, has given an oral statement to Parliament today updating on progress with negotiating a Brexit deal for the UK. The statement can be viewed on GOV.UK.

Tips on completing a Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier application

10 August 2018

With only three weeks until the Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier 2018 application deadline, Alice De Soer from the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV) gives some pointers for applicants in this week's Farmers Weekly.

Ash dieback found on three new host species of tree in the UK

08 August 2018

The Forestry Commission is urging people to report any suspected sightings of ash dieback by using the 'Tree Alert' system. This follows the discovery of three new species of trees and shrubs which have tested positive for ash dieback at Westonbirt Arboretum. Further details are available on GOV.UK.

Bank of England Base Rate Moves to 0.75%

06 August 2018

On Thursday 2nd August 2018 the Bank of England raised its base rate from 0.5% to 0.75%. This is the first time that the base rate has exceeded 0.5% since March 2009.

Environment Agency announces more flexible approach to water abstraction

03 August 2018

With the ongoing hot and dry weather conditions, the Environment Agency has announced arrangements to allow farmers to temporarily trade water allowances as set out in their abstraction licences. Further information is available on GOV.UK.

Recharging Rural Report

30 July 2018

The Prince's Countryside Fund and Scotland's Rural College have published "Recharging Rural", a report on the views of those living and working in remote rural communities. A key concern of many communities was the need for investment into transport and digital infrastructure to help them become more viable.

The report can be downloaded from the Prince's Countryside Fund website.

DEFRA announces £45m funding for rural broadband

27 July 2018

DEFRA has announced that an additional £45 million funding is to be made available under the Rural Broadband Infrastructure Scheme. Further information is available on GOV.UK.

Conservative Party vice-chairs resign over Brexit plans

10 July 2018

Two Conservative Party vice-chairs, Maria Caulfield and Ben Bradley, have resigned over Theresa May's Brexit proposals. This follows the resignation of Brexit Secretary David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Further details are available on the BBC News website. 

Jeremy Hunt appointed as Foreign Secretary

10 July 2018

Following the resignation of Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt has been appointed as the new Foreign Secretary. The new cabinet is meeting at 10 Downing Street this morning. Further information is available on the BBC News website.

Dominic Raab appointed as Brexit Secretary

09 July 2018

Dominic Raab has been appointed Brexit Secretary following the resignation of David Davis.

CAAV Presidential Team for 2018

02 July 2018

At the 2018 CAAV Annual Conference and AGM in Edinburgh on 29th June 2018, the new Presidential Team for the coming year was elected. Geoff Coster of Shropshire and Montgomeryshire Association was elected President; Geoff works for the Valuation Office Agency in Shrewsbury and is the first public servant to become President of the CAAV. David Brooks of Essex was elected Senior Vice President and Andrew Thomas of South Wales and Monmouthshire is the new Junior Vice-President.

EU (Withdrawal) Bill receives Royal Assent

26 June 2018

The EU (Withdrawal) Bill received Royal Assent earlier today and is now an Act of Parliament. Please see GOV.UK for further information.

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