The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has secured £3.9 million of funding to help thousands of farmers and growers navigate the fallout of the loss of direct payments and help future-proof their businesses.
AHDB's support service will use a new farm business review tool to help around 4,000 grazing livestock producers and cereal and oilseed growers in England.
The tool aims to provide a full understanding of the implications of direct payments disappearing and, what farmers can do to replace that lost income.
It will help farmers and growers identify how, where and when they may need to adapt their business model, access tailored support to address these changes and help them to become more resilient, competitive, innovative and productive.
The service will be coordinated nationally by the AHDB and delivered via a network of local agricultural advisers and consultants, working directly with farmers and growers in their respective parts of the country.
Further one-to-one tailored support will be given to around 600 of those participating on a first come, first served basis, including Full Farm Benchmarking, Environment and Carbon Auditing and an Agribusiness Appraisal.
Phasing out of direct payments
Steve Dunkley, AHDB's head of business, insights and skills, said:
“We are delighted to have secured funding to help farmers and growers who are affected by the phasing out of direct payments work towards securing a prosperous future for their business.
Our research has shown that 76% of beef and sheep farmers and 67% of cereal growers are not planning on making changes in the face of current policy changes or are adopting a wait-and-see approach.
"This funding will enable us to help 4,000 farmers and growers take a proactive approach to the biggest policy shift that they will face in their careers.
"We are particularly keen to work with those businesses that are perhaps more reliant on direct payments and more likely to be impacted by the loss of subsidies.
"We can help them assess the potential impact of the changes, work out how to address the challenges and put in place a succession plan for the future.”