Scottish Farming Update – Summer 2021

As I write this combines are starting to appear in fields across the borders, this may be a week or so behind last year but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Winter barley appears to be a good crop this year, however I say this reluctantly as an elderly farmer once told me ‘there is no such thing as a good farming year, some are just better than others’

At this time of year future farming policy will probably not be at the front of our minds, however Direct Support for farming businesses is changing.

In England, a move away from Pillar 1 BPS Payments is already underway, with the focus shifting towards the new Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS). Changes are also expected to farming policy in Scotland, but as yet we have not seen any real detail on what these changes will be.

It is fair to assume that any future support North of the border will also be focused on environmental benefits rather than the current system of how much land you are actively farming, however with the political landscape as it is in Scotland nothing is certain. Carbon is likely to be a big factor in any policy, especially with the push for such things as Regenerative Agriculture which has carbon storage and soil health its core. It was recently announced that Defra and AHDB are developing their own standardized Carbon Auditing tools. So, the question is, do you know what your farms carbon footprint looks like?

Your carbon footprint is effectively the quantity and source of greenhouse gas emissions, be it from such things as cultivations and soil disturbance or producing livestock. Farming businesses with low carbon footprints are often more efficient and possibly more profitable than those with larger footprints.

Calculating your carbon footprint is the first step. This will give you the ability to identify areas with a high footprint and allow you to plan improvements. These changes can be monitored and compared.

To discuss how we can help your farming business with a Carbon Audit, or with any other farm management related matter, please do contact us. For more information on Regenerative Agriculture, please click here.

Many of you will have recently been watching Clarkson’s Farm. The general consensus appears to be that this new series from Jeremy Clarkson is one of the best farming related programs for a number of years. There are two main reasons for this, firstly it gives a more realistic portrayal of farming than the likes of Countryfile does, and secondly it has reached a significantly larger and wider audience than the likes of This Farming Life, let’s hope a second series is commissioned. If you haven’t yet seen Clarkson’s Farm, I highly recommend you do.

Post written by Jack Frater from our Galashiels office. For more information on how our Rural team can help you, please contact:

Galashiels: 01896 751300 – Jack Frater and Andrew Hamilton