Subsidies and shining the spotlight on farming

At Hardcastle Burton, we have strong links to the agricultural industry and always keep an eye on the latest news. Recently, we all enjoyed watching Clarkson’s Farm.

Clarkson’s Farm

Launching the new series Jeremy said “I genuinely thought you put seeds in the ground, weather happens and then food grows”. If only it was that easy! Since then Jeremy Clarkson has won the 2021 Farmers Weekly “Farming Champion” award for his documentary.

The documentary has received a lot of positive feedback from the farming community. Particularly well received was its ability to highlight how vulnerable the industry is. Clarkson’s Farm drew attention to price changes and weather extremes, as well as showing the time and effort is takes to run a farm. The documentary was viewed by a much wider audience than just those in the farming industry. A lot of the positive responses have been for how engaging the documentary was for the general public. Through lack of knowledge there can be a poor perception on the industry.

Subsidies and the future of the industry

During the final episode of the documentary the land agent, Charlie, announced the farm had made a total profit of £144 (without subsidies). This was an eye-opening result for the public. Particularly considering that the BPS subsidy will be phased out over the coming years.

The NFU has appealed that this needs an urgent government review. Currently, as it stands a 50-hectare farms will see a 50% fall in BPS payments over the next 4 years. And larger farms (2500ha>) seeing a 70% fall. There are of course new Environmental Land Management scheme taking its place. Unfortunately details of how these are going to work remain sketchy. It is also unlikely they will be profitable enough to simply replace lost BSP income.

Unsurprisingly in our 2021 RAG survey, of 255 responses, 220 farmers put the future of subsidies in their top 5 concerns. Along with increased uncertainty in the weather caused by climate change and a market that has highly volatile prices, it is an uncertain time for farmers.

If you would like to talk to us about how the reduction in BPS will affect your business please get in touch.

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