Climate Change & Sustainable Farming

Learning from change

It is important to have your business in a position that can face change. During our lives we will be confronted with aspects of change which we may have no other choice than to face head on, whether it’s a political change or natural change such as climate change, resulting in increased periods of flooding and droughts.

Developing resilience will ensure your business is prepared for the effects of climate change so that you can progress and shift through these tough times. Prior to building resilience you may have been in a position that when faced with a natural disaster your business may have struggled to cope, seeing this change as a bridge that could not be crossed. Instead being prepared within your business for change will ensure that you can confidently face it head on.

The Agricultural Transition Plan sets out the changes the government is making to agricultural policy in England.

Carbon Clarity

The PCF and Morrisons have co-created a new programme – Carbon Clarity – helping farms to reduce their carbon output and increase carbon capture. The programme will offer support for dairy and livestock farmers who are looking to become more informed about carbon on farm. 

The programme aims to introduce the importance of managing your carbon on farm, outline some of the changing policies surrounding carbon, and provide a framework within which attendees can start to implement change. The prospect of understanding, measuring and capturing carbon can be overwhelming and to date much of the information and guidance available is aimed at larger farms.

DEFRA progress update on Agricultural Transition Plan

  • DEFRA has published two documents that provide more information about its Environmental Land Management Schemes (ELMs).
  • This new update to the Agricultural Transition Plan provides more detail on the rollout of the Sustainable Farming Incentive in 2022, including which standards they are including in the offer.
  • This sets out their approach to environmental scheme payments throughout the transition. 
  • Click here to find out more.

Sustainable Farming Incentive 

The Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) is the first of 3 new environmental schemes being introduced under the Agricultural Transition Plan. The other 2 schemes are Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery.

SFI will reward farmers who currently get payments under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) for managing their land in a way that improves food production and is more environmentally sustainable.

Farmers will be paid to provide public goods, such as:

  • improved water quality
  • biodiversity
  • climate change mitigation
  • animal health and welfare

In 2022, SFI aims to:

  • encourage actions that improve soil health
  • recognise how moorland provides benefits to the public (public goods)
  • improve animal health and welfare by helping farmers with the costs of veterinary advice for livestock

Further information on the other two schemes, Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery, is below:

Local Nature Recovery

Local Nature Recovery is the successor to the Countryside Stewardship scheme in England. It will allow farmers to collaborate with other farming businesses and agencies to determine local environmental priorities, and see these through with less bureaucracy than previous schemes.

It will benefit farmers and farming businesses by:

  • Allowing farmers to choose the right combination of options for their setting and preferences
  • Having a proportionate and fair system of checks and controls
  • Being straightforward to apply for and administer
  • Rewarding people for working together

Landscape Recovery

Landscape Recovery, the second environmental land management scheme to compliment the SFI, will support farmers and landowners who wish to make long-term, significant changes in the way they use their land to restore habitats.

The initial focus of the scheme will be on

  • Biodiversity
  • Water Quality
  • Net Zero

Improved Countryside Stewardship scheme

Countryside Stewardship (CS) schemes provide funding to farmers and land managers to improve their local environment. CS supports a range of enhanced environmental outcomes from restoring wildlife habitats and creating woodlands, to managing flood risk.

Up-to-date guidance and information on how to apply for the scheme can be found here

Climate change and farming

The NFU have created info graphic content that showcases farmers net zero ambitions, click here to view.

Climate change – a farming view, click here.

5 ways UK farmers are tackling climate change

  • The BBC have outlined 5 ways in which farmers are tackling climate change as they are often at the front line of extreme weather conditions, click here to view.


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