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Further restrictions on neonicotinoids agreed

28 April 2018

Following a vote in the European Commission, further restrictions on neonicotinoid pesticides have been approved. Please see GOV.UK for further information.

Essential tips for BPS 2018 claims

20 April 2018

With just over three weeks until the 15 May deadline for BPS 2018 claims, Alice De Soer from the CAAV gives some essential tips on applying for BPS 2018 in an article in this week's Farmers Weekly.

Landlords: Check energy performance now, warns CAAV

18 April 2018

In this article, which has appeared in several online publications and local newspapers, the CAAV's Kate Russell explains the new energy efficiency regulations which apply to let property from 1st April 2018: Landlords: Check energy performance now, warns CAAV

Farmers must prepare for more security checks on land deals

16 April 2018

Kate Russell, Policy and Technical Adviser at the CAAV, warns that farmers buying and selling land need to be prepared for increased security checks due to new regulations over money laundering in this article which appeared on the Farmers Weekly website on 12th April 2018.

Contract agreements must be genuine, farmers warned

16 April 2018

CAAV Secretary and Adviser, Jeremy Moody, urges farmers to show they remain actively involved in the business when setting up contracting agreements in this article which appeared on the Farmers Weekly website on 13th April 2018.

Advice on hedges for BPS and Countryside Stewardship 2018

03 April 2018

Following the RPA's publication of new mapping information about hedges on the online digital maps on the Rural Payments service, Alice De Soer from the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV) has given advice about how to deal with hedges for Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and Countryside Stewardship in 2018 in a Farmers Weekly article to appear in this week's edition.

Further information can also be found in the DEFRA guidance on 'How to check and change your hedge information 2018'.

Expert advice on applying for Basic Payment Scheme 2018

17 March 2018

With the online BPS 2018 application window opening earlier this week, Alice De Soer from the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV) has given some advice about applying this year in a Farmers Weekly article.

Prime Minister to meet devolved administrations to discuss EU exit negotiations

14 March 2018

Prime Minister Theresa May is to meet with the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales, together with representatives from the Northern Ireland Civil Service, later today to discuss the EU exit negotiations and the EU Withdrawal Bill in relation to devolved powers. Please see GOV.UK for further information.

Countryside Stewardship Arable Offer - What's Involved?

27 February 2018

Following the opening of the online application window for the new Countryside Stewardship Arable Offer on 20th February, Alice De Soer from the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV) has given some tips in a Farmers Weekly article about applying

DEFRA to launch future agricultural policy consultation today

27 February 2018

DEFRA is to launch its consultation on the future of agricultural policy in England today. The 10 week consultation will run until 8th May and will include proposals on:

  • "redirecting" Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) money to a new system which will pay farmers and land managers "public money for public goods", with a focus on environmental protection and enhancement, as well as sustainable food production;
  • supporting other public goods, including: "investment in technology and skills to improve productivity, providing public access to farmland and the countryside, ehanced welfare standards for livestock and measures to support the resilience of rural and upland communities.";
  • an "agricultural transition" of a "number of years" to move farmers from BPS to the new system; and
  • reducing BPS payments to the "largest landowners" during this transition period.

Further details are available on GOV.UK.

We will publish the consultation paper on this website as soon as it is available

Gove delivers speech at NFU Conference

20 February 2018

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, has delivered a speech this morning at the NFU Conference. The full text of the speech, "A Brighter Future for Farming", can be viewed on GOV.UK.

DEFRA announces £10m 'collaboration fund' for farmers and small producers

19 February 2018

DEFRA has announced that a 'collaboration' fund of £10m will be made available to farmers and small producers. This fund is part of a package of measures announced in the Government reponse to a consultation on the remit of the Groceries Code Adjudicator, including: the introduction of compulsory milk contracts and a requirement for slaughterhouses to use a standard grid classification of sheep carcases. Further information is available on GOV.UK.

Gove delivers speech at Oxford Farming Conference

04 January 2018

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove, has delivered a speech this morning at the Oxford Farming Conference. The full text of the speech is available on GOV.UK

A "Command Paper" should be published "later this spring" which should lay out proposed plans for future agricultural support, which will be subject to consultation. Mr. Gove has however set out a "direction of travel" which he believes should be about helping "land owners and managers to make the transition from our current system of subsidy to a new approach of public money for public goods over time."

He has confirmed that 91% of BPS 2017 claimants received a payment by 31st December 2017 and that BPS 2019 will be on the same basis as now. A new Chair is to be sought to work alongside the RPA's CEO to "drive further improvement."

He says that he envisages "guaranteeing that BPS payments continue for a transition period in England, which could last a number of years beyond the implementation period, depending on consultation." He goes on to say that, "During this time, we propose to first reduce the largest BPS payments in England. We could do this through a straight cap at a maximum level or through a sliding scale of reductions, to the largest payments first. After the implementation period, this transitional payment could be paid to the recipient without the need to comply with all the onerous existing cross-compliance rules and procedures ... This should provide every existing farmer who receives BPS payments with a guaranteed income over this extended transition period. That guaranteed income should provide time for farmers to change their business model if necessary, help to make the investment necessary for any adjustments and prepare for the future ... And, after that transition, we will replace BPS with a system of public money for public goods." In the subsequent questions session, Mr. Gove said that his proposal is that there should be a five year transition period post-BPS 2019, which would see BPS remaining in England until 2024 but with the introduction of a cap as laid out above.

In relation to Countryside Stewardship, he has stated that support will continue for Countryside Stewardship agreements entered into before the UK formally leaves the EU in March 2019 and that he "will ensure that no one in an existing scheme is unfairly disadvantaged when we transition to new arrangements."

In terms of future agricultural support, he has said that previous agri-environment and Countryside Stewardship schemes will be built upon to "design a scheme accessible to almost any land owner or manager who wishes to enhance the natural environment by planting woodland, providing new habitats for wildlife, increasing biodiversity, contributing to improved water quality and returning cultivated land to wildflower meadows and other more natural states." Additional money will also be made available for landscape scale collaboration. There should also be investment in "technology and skills alongside infrastructure, public access and rural resilience."

CAAV Office - Opening Hours for Christmas and New Year

21 December 2017

The CAAV office will close for Christmas at 1 p.m. on Thursday 21st December 2017 and re-opens on Tuesday 2nd January 2018. Happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.

Industry calls for 'Gove guarantee' on agri-environment schemes

15 December 2017

The CAAV, CLA, NFU, TFA, FWAG, GWCT, The Wildlife Trusts, RSPB and the National Trust have jointly written to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, The Right Hon. Michael Gove MP, requesting some certainty for agri-environment scheme agreement holders that they will not be placed at a disadavantage when new schemes are introduced post-Brexit. Please see the attached press release for further details.

New Electronic Communications Code

15 December 2017

The new Electronic Communications Code is to take effect from 28th December 2017, Government has confirmed. The Commencement Order which will bring the Code into effect is expected to be published later today (15th December).

Electronic Communications Code Conference (Members Only)

11 December 2017

Due to adverse weather conditions it is understood that many people are unable to attend the conference today. The conference is still going ahead as planned.

New UK Chief Veterinary Officer appointed

04 December 2017

Christine Middlemiss has been appointed as the new UK Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO). She will take over the role from Nigel Gibbens who will step down at the end of February 2018. Please see GOV.UK for further information.

Crick Conference - 16th November 2017

13 November 2017

There are still a few spaces left at this year's MCAVA Crick Conference this Thursday 16th at the Holiday Inn, Crick, Northamptonshire.

On top of the splendid line-up we have already announced do not miss out on the chance to hear Sean Rickard of Cranfield University take on our very own MCAVA member James Fulton in the annual Crick Debate with the updated notion Regaining control of agricultural policy is the best thing to hit it since the Agriculture Act 1947”

Please contact Jennifer Whitton jennifer.whitton@howkinsandharrison.co.uk to book your place

Bank of England raises interest rates to 0.50%

02 November 2017

The Bank of England has increased the Bank Rate to 0.5%. This is the first increase since 2007. Further details can be found on the Bank of England website.

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