Hill Farming: Subsidies

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 3rd September 2019.

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Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Our ambitious new Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme will be the cornerstone of our agricultural policy in England after we leave the EU. Due to the environmental quality of upland areas, upland farmers will be well placed to benefit from the new ELM system which will reward land managers for the public goods they provide and deliver an income stream.

We have pledged to continue to commit the same cash total in funds for farm support until the end of this Parliament, expected in 2022. This includes all funding provided for farm support under both Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 of the current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). We are working across Government to develop future funding arrangements.

We will phase out Direct Payments in England during an agricultural transition period, giving time for farmers to adjust. We plan to start reducing payments in 2021. We aim to phase out Direct Payments completely by the end of the transition period, with the last payments being made for the 2027 scheme year.

We expect that simplified versions of Countryside Stewardship will continue to be open to new applicants, including an uplands offer and capital grants. We are also currently considering whether or not to continue to extend certain Higher Level Stewardship Scheme agreements that offer strong continued environmental benefits expiring in 2019. Upland areas will continue to deliver outcomes and new agreements can be set up as we test and refine the new ELM arrangements.

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