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Welsh Agriculture Bill – White Paper

The Welsh Government announced on Wednesday 16th December, a White Paper for the Agriculture (Wales) Bill. The Bill, expected to be published in 2022 will govern the future support system for Welsh agriculture.

Carys Studley, Rural Surveyor at Rostons, based in Chester, acts for a number of Welsh and Cross Border Landowners and Farmers. Having submitted their SAF Form earlier this year, she comments that “This Welsh Government consultation has been expected for some time and puts forward some significant changes to the way in which welsh agriculture is supported going forward, albeit at the moment it is only at the consultation stage.”

Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS)

Carys further comments that the paper includes “proposals as to how the transition from direct payments under the BPS Scheme to their new Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS) will be managed”. This Scheme will be voluntary and has been commented to be similar to that of Defra’s ELMS (Environmental Land Management Scheme) providing payments for public goods.

Basic Payment Scheme

Welsh BPS payments have been confirmed to be paid in full for 2021 and 2022. This is contrast to the English system, where a series of reductions will be made from 2021. There will be no 3-crop rule as part of the greening requirements however, EFA’s must still be followed.

National Minimum Standard

A new National Minimum Standard is also proposed to encompass the current Cross Compliance Requirements. Anyone wanting to pass their comments on these proposals are invited to do so through the Welsh Government website. The deadline is the 25th March 2021.

If anyone wishes to find out any further details about the new proposals under this White Paper then please contact the Rostons offices on 01829 773000.

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