Book your SAF 2022 appointment

It’s that time of year again when the Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) starts thinking about Single Application Forms (SAF). The application window opens on 1st March and the FUW is reminding its members that county staff are here to help and ready to take the stress of filling the form away.

The FUW provides this service exclusively to all paid-up members as part of their membership package, which has proved invaluable for thousands of members over the years - saving them time and a paperwork-headache.

The SAF completion process is probably the single most important form completion exercise being carried out by Welsh farmers since 2004, and the financial repercussions of errors on the forms are severe. FUW staff are not only well trained but very well practised in dealing with the complex application process.

Since the Welsh Government mandated that all applications should be done online, the FUW has focused on providing the best possible service to its members.

The FUW is encouraging its members and first time form fillers to contact their local office as soon as possible to book an appointment if they need help in filling out the form.

Avian Influenza - new protection and surveillance zones in Wales

On 21st February 2022, the Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales confirmed the presence of avian influenza H5N1 at the following two premises:

A new case was confirmed at a commercial premises Near Welshpool, Montgomeryshire, Powys. A 3km Protection Zone, a 10km Surveillance Zone and 10km Restricted Zone have therefore been declared around the premises. Details of the measures within the disease control zones for this zone are outlined in the relevant disease declarations on Gov.Wales.

A new case was also confirmed at a commercial premises Near Newtown, Montgomeryshire, Powys. A 3km Protection Zone and 10km Surveillance Zone have been put in place. Part of the Surveillance Zone extends into England in a number of places and declarations have therefore been put in place in both Wales and England. A Restricted Zone of 10km has also been declared in Wales with the same measures as the Surveillance Zone. Details of the measures within the disease control zones for this zone are outlined in the relevant disease declarations on Gov.Wales.

Please note that the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) measures remain in place across GB.

Silage wrap exclusion from packaging tax welcome news for industry

The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has welcomed an announcement from HMRC that silage wrap will not be subject to agriculture packaging tax from 1st April 2022, as it has been recognised as essential for the fermentation of grass.

Without the concession, a tax of £200 tonne on all single use plastic packaging would have been introduced, adding to the financial burden placed on the industry already.

Input costs are at an all time high in terms of energy, fertiliser and fodder costs. With this in mind, HMRC’s decision to exclude silage wrap from the plastic packaging tax for agriculture is welcomed.

Farming Connect Innovation and Diversification Event 2022

Farming Connect will be hosting the second edition of its Innovation and Diversification event on 15th June 2022 at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells.

The first event held in September 2019 attracted more than 1,000 visitors and 90 exhibitors.

To build on the momentum, this year’s event aims to encourage more farm and forestry businesses to seek support, information and ideas from keynote speakers, one-to-one surgeries, workshops and seminars on topics including:

  • Innovation - more efficient ways of working that harness exciting new technologies
  • Diversification - new ideas that will help you increase profits
  • Livestock - new ways to strengthen performance and improve productivity
  • Sustainability - save time and money, increase outputs, reduce your carbon footprint
  • Changing the way you think and work - support, guidance, training and practical demonstrations that will prepare you and your business for the future

The event will be free for visitors to attend. Further information, including a full list of exhibitors and a timetable of speakers and seminars, will be available in due course.

For more information, please click here or contact the Farming Connect events team directly at: Mae'r cyfeiriad e-bost hwn wedi'i warchod rhag robotiaid sbam. Rhaid i chi alluogi JavaScript i'w weld.

 

Big Farmland Bird Count webinar now available to rewatch

The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) joined forces with the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) to showcase the important role farmers play when it comes to looking after farmland birds, as well as helping farmers understand what they can do on their farms to protect birds.

Ahead of the Big Farmland Bird Count (4-20 February), the FUW jointly hosted a webinar with the GWCT on 1st February.

Guest speakers at the webinar, which was chaired by FUW Deputy President Ian Rickman, included Matthew Goodall from the GWCT, who spoke about the importance of taking part in the Big Farmland Bird Count, the background behind the initiative and how farmland bird numbers can be increased; FUW Senior Policy and Communications Officer Gareth Parry addressed policy issues that affect how we produce food and look after the environment for the benefit of Wales’ bird species and the webinar also heard from Welsh beef and sheep farmer and former FUW Meirionnydd county chairman Geraint Davies, who had previously participated in the Big Farmland Bird Count.

The webinar is now available to watch here: https://www.fuw.org.uk/en/members/member-seminars

 

New advice for land managers on the Countryside Code

Over the past 12 months, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has worked with Natural England to revise and update the advice for land managers following the update of the Countryside Code visitor advice in 2021.

The revised advice provides land managers with clear information on:

  • The rights and responsibilities for public rights of way and open access land
  • Visitor access rights
  • How to help visitors act responsibly
  • How to create a safe environment
  • Who to contact for support

The guidance is available here: https://naturalresources.wales/land-manager-advice?lang=en

Farmers Weekly Awards now open for nominations

The Farmers Weekly Awards 2022 will celebrate the best of British agriculture by recognising the most hardworking and innovative farmers across the UK.

The closing date to either enter or make a nomination is 31st March with the event taking place in London on 6th October 2022.

There are a total of 15 different categories this year:

  • Ag Student of the Year
  • Arable Adviser of the Year
  • Arable Farmer of the Year
  • Beef Farmer of the Year
  • Contractor of the Year
  • Dairy Farmer of the Year
  • Diversification Farmer of the Year
  • Farm Manager of the Year
  • Grassland Manager of the Year
  • Livestock Adviser of the Year
  • Mixed Farmer of the Year
  • Pig Farmer of the Year
  • Poultry Farmer of the Year
  • Sheep Farmer of the Year
  • Young Farmer of the Year

Click here for further information.

Donkey Sanctuary launches project to encourage responsible ownership

The Donkey Sanctuary has launched a new five year project that will look at the life cycle of donkeys in the UK and Ireland and the encouragement of responsible ownership.

The Sanctuary aims to see a reduction in the number of donkeys suffering due to poor welfare or abandonment. To identify the factors affecting such welfare, they need to understand donkey ownership and the reasons for it, why donkeys are rehomed and any gaps in support or education for owners.

As part of this work, the Sanctuary plans to form a Stakeholder group consisting of people from all sectors and backgrounds who are involved with donkeys.

If any FUW members would be interested in participating, please email Katrina Hammond at Mae'r cyfeiriad e-bost hwn wedi'i warchod rhag robotiaid sbam. Rhaid i chi alluogi JavaScript i'w weld.

Expression of interest window dates February 2022

Scheme Summary Window Close
Welsh Government Badger Vaccination Grant

The Badger Vaccination Grant provides farmers, landowners and other organisations with the opportunity to apply for financial support.

£100,000 has been made available for this grant window. Successful applicants receive up to 50% of the eligible costs of badger vaccination.

Successful applicants will be able to begin vaccinating from May 2022 subject to obtaining a badger vaccination licence.

If you have any questions, or would like to apply for the grant, please contact:

Lydia Chambers
BVG Manager
Phone: 03000 255494
Email: Mae'r cyfeiriad e-bost hwn wedi'i warchod rhag robotiaid sbam. Rhaid i chi alluogi JavaScript i'w weld.

https://gov.wales/badger-vaccination-grant

10th March 2022
BPS Transfer of Entitlements

The transfer notification facility for 2022 entitlements is available on RPW Online. RPW must be notified by 15 May 2022 in order for the recipient to make a claim on entitlements they are receiving for the 2022 BPS scheme year.

FUW members are welcome to contact their local County Office for assistance.

15th May 2022
Learn Welsh course for the agricultural sector

The National Centre for Learning Welsh and Menter a Busnes have launched a new online Learn Welsh Course for the agricultural sector.


The Work Welsh 10-hour sector-specific courses, including agriculture, are available free of charge from the Learn Welsh website.

For more information, please email Mae'r cyfeiriad e-bost hwn wedi'i warchod rhag robotiaid sbam. Rhaid i chi alluogi JavaScript i'w weld.

 
Farming Connect Advisory Service

The Farming Connect Advisory Service is available to anyone who is registered with Farming Connect.

It provides up to 80% funded advice for individuals or 100% funding for group sessions.

It aims to ensure that you:

  • benefit from business support and/or technical advice, tailored to your business needs
  • reduce costs by increasing efficiency across all areas of your business
  • benchmark your performance and work towards progress and growth
  • identify areas for improvement and find solutions to problems

Further information can be found here.

 
Farming Connect What’s On

As a result of the pandemic, Farming Connect has taken the decision to postpone all open events and one-to-many events until further notice. They are conducting a number of activities digitally or over the phone where possible.

More information can be found here:
https://businesswales.gov.wales/farmingconnect/whats-on

 

FUW launches call for action on carbon trading

The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has launched its call for action on carbon trading, to ensure that Wales’ family farms are part of the solution to achieving Net Zero instead of a casualty of carbon offsetting by powerful players.

In order to limit global warming to 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels, countries and companies across the world have been racing to pledge their own ‘net-zero’ targets or claims.

This has led to a surge in individuals and businesses seeking to offset their carbon
emissions via the Voluntary Carbon Market. Consequently, an increasing number of farms in Wales are being purchased by companies in order to plant trees and offset their own emissions, or sell the associated carbon credits in the future.

To address these concerns, the FUW has compiled a list of 10 recommendations;

Welsh Government publishes recommendations to increase renewable energy production

The Welsh Government has recently published its recommendations to increase renewable energy production in Wales following a ‘deep dive’ exercise.

In 2017, the Welsh Government announced a target of meeting 70 percent of Wales’ electricity demand from Welsh renewable electricity sources by 2030. By 2019, 51 percent of the electricity consumed in Wales was generated from renewable energy sources, up from 19 percent in 2014 and 50 percent in 2018.

However, the abolition of Feed in Tariffs in 2019 has led to a significant slowdown in on-farm investment into renewable energy sources, consequently weakening the environmental benefits associated with private initiatives and diminishing the momentum of reaching Welsh Government’s 2030 target.

Their latest report sets out 21 overarching recommendations on Strategy; Grid; Consenting, licensing and supporting advisory arrangements; Finance; Opportunities to scale up Community and Local Energy in Wales; Opportunities to maximise Economic and Social value in Wales; and Innovation.