Wednesday, October 10, 2018

End of basic payment challenges National Park farmer

It was a pleasure to open my Financial Times on Monday and see a photo of a fellow member of the Farmer-Scientist Network of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, Richard Findlay. I had just finished the draft of our submission to the EFRA inquiry into the Agriculture Bill which received its second reading this week (attracting attention because the Democratic Unionists abstained).

Drawing on the expertise of our academic and farming members we have made a detailed response which hopefully will appear on our website before long. You can read our earlier reports and documents here: Brexit

Richard has 700 sheep on 1,250 acres of the North York Moors national park. In a good year he makes a profit of about £12,000, but he receives £44,009 in subsidies under the CAP.

As he points out, the moorland is a managed landscape which would revert to trees and bushes if he was not farming it. Hopefully, he will be able to demonstrate that he is providing a 'public good' under the new arrangements, although the income stream is likely to be more uncertain and involve form filling.

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