Agricultural Policy

Farming Connect Launch Demonstration Farm Projects

Farming Connect have launched a range of projects on 18 demonstration farms that were recruited in early 2019. There are projects applicable to red meat, dairy, poultry, arable and forestry. Each project will evaluate the financial and physical impact on the respective business, and the results will be presented as open days at each of the sites during 2020.

Examples of the projects taking place include; improving the profitability, sustainability and efficiency of finishing bull beef by utilizing homegrown grain, examining the optimum conception weight and condition for ewe lambs, and increasing the utilisation of grazed grass to produce more milk.

New technology, such as electrical conductivity, will also be trialled to produce soil maps. Interested members can attend the appropriate open days to learn more about these projects. For a full list of projects, please click here.

 

Expression of Interest Window Dates

Scheme Summary Window Close

Sheep and Goat annual inventory

It’s that time of year again to complete your Sheep and Goat annual inventory.  All keepers will receive a paper form in the post throughout December.  The annual inventory must be filled in with the number of sheep and goats you own on 1 January 2020.  The form must be returned by 30 January 2020.
For further guidance, please click here.
30 January 2020
Farming Connect Skills and Training Programme The programme allows anyone registered with Farming Connect to apply for funding of up to 80% towards completing short training courses. The full list of courses available can be viewed here and further information is available here.
Applicants registering for the first time during this application window in order to apply for a funded course or to update their account details, please contact Farming Connect before 5pm Monday 24 February 2020 on 08456 000 813.
28 February 2020
Dŵr Cymru Pesticide Scheme Dŵr Cymru will be relaunching their free and confidential Pesticide Disposal Scheme for farmers, growers, gamekeepers, foresters and land managers to safely dispose of any wanted or out of date pesticides and herbicides. Register between 1 - 31 March 2020
Farm Business Grant The 7th expression of interest window for the Farm Business Grant opens on 2 March 2020. In order to be eligible, scheme members will have to attend a Farming Connect event - ‘Farming for the Future’, if they have not already attended one in the past:
  • March 3 2020, Glastir, Llanrwst, 7pm
  • March 5 2020, Penglais School, Aberystwyth, 7pm
  • March 10 2020, The Princess Royal Theatre, Port Talbot, 7pm
Contact Farming Connect to book your place.
10 April 2020
BPS Transfer of Entitlements You can now transfer BPS entitlements through sale, lease or inheritance.  It must be accessed through the RPW online account.  The recipient of entitlements transferred by sale or lease must meet the Active Farmer requirements (see SAF Rules for details). 30 April 2020

Consultations Pending

i) Welsh Government Clean Air Plan For Wales

The aim of the Clean Air Plan for Wales is to improve air quality and in doing so reduce the burden of poor air quality on human health, biodiversity and the natural environment in Wales - alongside the Prosperity For All National Strategy and commitments to reduce emissions.

The plan outlines how air quality policy is interlinked with other Welsh Government policies i.e. Sustainable development, Well-Being of Future Generations and Environment Acts, Decarbonisation.

The plan uses themes to address areas of impact where future action is required. These themes include improving air quality to:

  • Protect the health and well-being of current and future generations
  • Support our natural environment, ecosystems and biodiversity
  • Support a prosperous Wales
  • Support a sustainable place

Please follow click here for the consultation document. Deadline for responses is 10 March 2020.

 

ii) Welsh Government Changes to Planning and Related Applications Fees

This Welsh Government consultation proposes to retain the current planning fee structure as set out in the 2015 regulations in the short-term and increase all planning fees by around 20%. In addition, to support Local Planning Authorities when determining applications for certificates of appropriate alternative development, they propose to introduce a fee of £230 per application.

In the longer term, Welsh Government aim to consider whether there is a need to reform the method of charging planning fees for supporting the cost recovery process.

Please follow click here for the consultation document. Deadline for responses is 13 March 2020.

Consultations Pending

i) NRW ‘Challenges and Choices’

This is the second consultation under the Water Framework Directive that will contribute to the River Basin Management Plans and the State of Natural Resource Report (SoNaRR 2).

The consultation aims to share an overview of water management challenges in different areas of Wales and ways of improving these.  Respondents can suggest actions that are required in different areas which should influence the approach to water management in the area.

NRW would like your views on the issues affecting Wales, the Western Wales River Basin District and the Dee River Basin District.  In addition:

  • Any additional evidence that we should include in the preparation of the Area Statements and SoNaRR 2
  • The options for resolving the significant water management issues
  • Your suggestions to address the issues identified in the river basin district

Please follow click here for the consultation document.  Deadline for responses is 22nd December 2019.

ii) Welsh Government Clean Air Plan For Wales

The aim of the Clean Air Plan for Wales is to improve air quality and in doing so reduce the burden of poor air quality on human health, biodiversity and the natural environment in Wales - alongside the Prosperity For All National Strategy and commitments to reduce emissions.

The plan outlines how air quality policy is interlinked with other Welsh Government policies i.e. Sustainable development, Well-Being of Future Generations and Environment Acts, Decarbonisation.

The plan uses themes to address areas of impact where future action is required. These themes include improving air quality to:

  • Protect the health and well-being of current and future generations
  • Support our natural environment, ecosystems and biodiversity
  • Support a prosperous Wales
  • Support a sustainable place

Please follow click here for the consultation document.  Deadline for responses is 10 March 2020.

iii) Welsh Government Changes to planning and related applications fees

The Welsh Government has set out new proposals which aim to revise planning application fees as they currently do not cover the costs of running Local Planning Authority (LPA) services.

The consultation proposes to retain the current planning fee structure as set out in the 2015 regulations in the short-term and increase all planning fees by around 20%.  In addition, to support LPAs when determining applications for certificates of appropriate alternative development, they propose to introduce a fee of £230 per application.

In the longer term, Welsh Government aim to consider whether there is a need to reform the method of charging planning fees for supporting the cost recovery process.

Please follow click here for the consultation document.  Deadline for responses is 13 March 2020.

British Heritage Sheep – New Tastes from old Traditions

The National Sheep Association (NSA) recently launched its report on the British Heritage Sheep Project.  The scheme, which has widespread backing, including from the Farmers’ Union of Wales, aims to improve meat sales of our 60 or so British native sheep breeds by creating an umbrella organisation to promote and support producers and retailers.

It is primarily aimed at informing consumers about each piece of meat’s ABC - A being for age (lamb, hogget or mutton); B being for the native breed; and C being the Countryside where the animal was reared.

Research by YouGov found that two groups of consumers were particularly interested in knowing more about the ABC of each animal.  These were young people, who eat very little sheep meat, and those who eat meat but currently not sheep meat.  Taste trials carried out by the NSA have identified that meat from older sheep have definitive taste and texture differences between native breeds.

The British Heritage Sheep Company will be formed in the New Year.  More information is available here.

COVID-19 - Important Information for our members and customers

 

In view of the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we’ve taken the decision to help protect members, customers and colleagues by closing all FUW offices.

All staff will be working remotely for the foreseeable future, meaning our team will be continuing with exactly the same service but over the phone/email/skype or other means of remote communication instead. 

Members and customers should continue to contact us as they would, as all our team can be contacted via the usual phone numbers. 

We will be making sure that our service levels are maintained. SAF/IACS appointments will carry on as normal but will be conducted over the phone. 

Contact details for your local office can be found here: https://www.fuw.org.uk/en/contact-us 

 

Important links relating to the Coronavirus:


The TB Hub have prepared a list of FAQs regarding how TB procedures will be affected by the virus: https://tbhub.co.uk/statutory-tb-testing-of-cattle-in-gb-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

Red Tractor Updated Covid-19 position here: https://assurance.redtractor.org.uk/contentfiles/Farmers-7085.pdf?_=637206600290507095

Livestock Auctioneers Association LAA - 25/03/2020: https://www.laa.co.uk/news/3989/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-to-members-and-farmers/

Business Wales (including details of coronavirus support for businesses): https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) available through participating lenders: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/

National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) guidance on Coronavirus: https://www.naac.co.uk/coronavirus-guidance-issued-to-contractors/

National Milk Recording services 24/03/2020: https://www.nmr.co.uk/about-us/coronavirus