Farmers have been encouraged to plan ahead and look at green projects as the future of UK farming looks set to change.
Various grants and funding are on offer for farmers to encourage green growth, coupled with future government subsidies post-Brexit leaning towards environmental stewardship.
In recent debates regarding the future of farming subsidies, the government has strongly indicated that any future funding is likely to be based on farming practices that provide ‘public goods’.
High on the list would be work to make farms more environmentally friendly.
Similar incentives can also be seen in other grants and government projects, including the Woodland Carbon Code (WCC), a UK government scheme aimed at verifying the amount of CO2 to be captured by planting new forest land.
The market allows woodland owners to trade ‘credits’ that provide tax incentives to companies engaged in industries that produce atmospheric emissions to ensure the UK is steered more towards a carbon neutral future
Paul Laird, Partner at accountancy firm the Fish Partnership, said farmers may gain more from being involved in environmental stewardship of their land.
“The future of farming is very much focused not only the creation of food and raw materials for other industry but also the environmental stewardship of land,” Mr Laird said.
“While the government has provided public promises to maintain current subsidies until 2021, farmers need to be planning ahead to ensure they achieve the maximum benefit from future schemes.
“A number of incentives already on offer to the farming community in the form of grants and other schemes focus on environmental projects and I can foresee this area of farming growing more in the years to come, so it might be something to consider as part of a modern farms mid to long-term plans.
Mr Laird added: “The wider farming community will benefit from this change, which will aid with minimising soil erosion and the degradation of land that has been over-farmed – so agri-businesses should not look too sceptically about the initial benefits of agri-environmentalism.”