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Things we're doing

Making the rules for farming easier to find

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Content design, Things we're doing
Computer showing GOV.UK's Rules for farmers and land managers

Farming legislation affects all farmers and land managers. As content designers, part of our job is to make sure that the rules about farming on GOV.UK are easy to find. We asked a group of volunteers to share their experience finding the rules. In this post, I’ll share a summary of what they told us and what we did to improve things.

How we used co-design to create vet visits 

Farmers, vets, industry representatives, and colleagues in government are shaping the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway together. The first step of the pathway is the Annual Health and Welfare Review. In this post, we share how we used co-design to create the yearly vet visits. 

Funding available for robotics and automation in farming

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Payments for research and innovation, Things we're doing
Device controlling agricultural robot

From 9 January 2023, farmers, growers and agritech businesses in England will be able to apply for funding to develop innovative ideas in the areas of robotics and automation. In this post, I’ll give an overview of the competition, dates for your diary and links for you to find out more.

Sustainable Farming Incentive: more farmers can apply without being invited

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: environmental land management schemes, Things we're doing
Farmland pastoral scene in Bradninch, Devon.

From 1 September, if you have land in a Countryside Stewardship or Environmental Stewardship agreement, but not on common land, you can now apply online directly by signing into the Rural Payments service.

Test and Trials: watch the North Cumbria Farmers Group

We're developing schemes that reward environmental land management. To make sure that those schemes work in practice, farmers and land managers across England are putting elements of those schemes to the test. It's one of the ways though which we're carrying out co-design. In this video, the North Cumbria Farmers Group share what they've been doing to help shape the future of our schemes.

Understanding and improving farming regulation

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Things we're doing, Things we've learned
Stanbrook Abbey

Some farming and land management activities are regulated to safeguard our environment and to protect the health of animals, plants and people. We do this through around 150 pieces of legislation, comprising primary and secondary legislation. All of this legislation applies to agricultural activity, and collectively constitutes what is known as the ‘regulatory baseline for agriculture’. This is a complex legislative picture and is not easy to navigate – we intend to improve and evolve this baseline in future as part of our agricultural transition outside of the European Union (EU). 

Slurry: making the best of it 

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: A view from the farm, Things we're doing, Things we've learned, Ways to get involved
Slurry spreading in fields, Shaftesbury

Slurry contains lots of nutrients including nitrates, phosphate and potash as well as a host of other things that can benefit soil health and support crop growth. It can, however, create significant pollution to our water and air. Through co-design, our team joined with a group of farmers, industry leaders and experts to explore the subject. In this post, we’ll share what we’ve learned and how we plan to support farmers so that nutrients from slurry aren’t lost, that any damage to our environment is reduced and farmers aren’t dependent on expensive artificial fertilisers.

An update on the Lump Sum Exit Scheme and delinked payments 

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Farmers, Things we're doing, Things we've learned, Ways to get involved

It can be difficult for farmers who wish to retire or leave the industry to do so. A lack of capital can prevent them. We think that our Lump Sum Exit Scheme could help them.  Last year, we ran a consultation with farmers and other experts, and the findings supported this view. In this post, I'll share a summary and our response. I'll also cover delinked payments and an opportunity for you to help shape our work.

Test and trials: Tackling climate change and extinction - the farm that’s showing the way

Cholderton is a 1000-hectare estate on the Hampshire/Wiltshire border. It participated in one of Defra's environmental land management test and trials to develop a model land management plan based on the exemplary principles adopted by the estate. In this guest post, Merrick Denton-Thompson shares his view.