EFS Wider Level to open next week for NI farmers

The scheme contains measures that farmers can undertake on-farm to enhance the environment
The scheme contains measures that farmers can undertake on-farm to enhance the environment

The application window for tranche four of the Environmental Farming Scheme Wider Level (EFS) will open next week, the Northern Irish government said.

EFS contains a range of measures that farmers can undertake on-farm to enhance biodiversity, improve water quality, and mitigate climate change.

Farmers choose which options they prefer, depending on their individual preferences or farm type.

This application window will open on Monday 17 August, NI's Department of Agriculture minister Edwin Poots announced.



Applications must be submitted online by Friday 11 September 2020.

Minister Poots said: “EFS benefits both the farmer and our environment through the implementation of environmentally beneficial actions and works on their land.



"It aims to protect and enhance biodiversity and water quality, and mitigate against climate change by sequestering carbon.

“The previous three tranches have been successful, with almost 5,000 EFS agreements in place."

Successful applicants will be offered a five year scheme agreement, which will start on 1 January 2021.

Although there will be four weeks to submit an application, Mr Poots advised farmers to start thinking now about what options might best suit their farm.

Unlike previous agri-environment schemes, EFS requires much of the work to be completed and claimed by the 1 June of the first year of the agreement.