Agricultural Policy

Are You Eligible To Claim Back Research & Development Tax Credits?

Rural and Development (R&D) tax credits are a tax relief which aims to encourage greater spending in research and innovation projects.  Farming businesses alone claimed back £20m from HMRC through the use of R&D tax credits last year.

The relief allows companies, including farm businesses, to deduct an extra 130% of their qualifying costs from their annual profit which is in addition to the normal 100% deduction.

Specialist companies or accountants can advise on the eligibility of the farm business for the tax relief and assist in putting the required paperwork together for submitting a claim.  Any project based on research or innovation may be eligible.

To be eligible, farms need to :-

  • Be a limited company in the UK that is subject to corporation tax
  • Have carried out qualifying research and development work.  Projects should be designed to ‘make an advance in science or technology’ i.e. experimenting with feed to maximise animal weight gain
  • Have spent money on these projects (can be claimed for the previous 2 years accounting periods if it is a first claim)
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Give Your Views on Bat Conservation And Management

The University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute is looking for individuals with experience in bat conservation and/or management work on their land to take part in a survey consultation.
Amongst other issues, the survey seeks views on the challenges facing bats in the UK and the research required to improve conservation and management of bats in the future.  Countryside management is a key component of bat conservation, and this survey is keen to hear from farmers and land managers about their experiences of implementing management approaches.  This survey will close on 20/12/2019 and questions should be directed to Conor Cooper (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
For more information, see the Participant Information Sheet:
To sign up and take part, follow the link below:

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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.

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FUW Meets Farming Minister to Discuss Tomlinson’s Collapse 

Earlier this month, the Farmers’ Union of Wales met with the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, to discuss the recent collapse of Tomlinson’s Dairies..

The closure of the dairy and the subsequent refusal to collect milk came in with almost immediate effect and left many dairy producers in Wales scrambling to find another processor for their milk.

The FUW remains extremely concerned for its affected members. Our producers were offered no prior warning and the FUW is extremely disappointed that farmers were left in a predicament where they had no one to collect their milk.  

The loss of yet another major processor in Wales is a severe blow to farmers, workers and the industry as a whole at a time when significant efforts are being made to bolster and build on our unique Welsh brand.

The collapse of Tomlinson’s comes after a significant £22 million funding boost in 2017 which saw an expansion of their cold storage facilities and the creation of 70 jobs. 
The immediate concern of the FUW is the desperate situation facing affected producers; some of whom are owed many tens of thousands of pounds.  The FUW has discussed short-term measures with the Minister including prioritising BPS payments and reducing inspection burdens for those affected. . 


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Latest Research Backs FUW Position on Badger Culling

A research paper, published earlier this month in Scientific Research, sheds further light on the effectiveness of a rigorous and thorough badger culling policy in reducing the incidence of bovine TB in cattle.

Unlike some other research in this field, the study conducted by Downs and co-workers assessed the real effects of the 4 yearly culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset between 2013-2017.  The results overwhelmingly demonstrate the positive impact of this policy on the TB incidence of cattle in these regions.  Indeed, four years after the introduction of badger culling, the level of bovine TB in cattle reduced by 66% and 37% in Gloucestershire and Somerset respectively.  This is consistent with earlier analyses which also showed a reduction in cattle TB incidence 2 years after the onset of culling in these regions.  Moreover, current data on the 2km buffer zone around the edge of the cull areas saw TB incidence decline by 36% in Gloucestershire.  There was no change in the TB incidence in cattle in the buffer zone in somerset and therefore no evidence of the oft-reported negative perturbation effects in either of these buffer zones. 

Alongside cattle control measures, the FUW remains a strong proponent of badger culling as a means to reduce bovine TB levels in cattle. The Welsh cattle industry continues to operate under a plethora of cattle controls and testing regimes which have yet to make a significant impact on the levels of bovine TB in cattle.  The FUW believes that Welsh TB policy should be reviewed and a scientifically tried and tested badger cull policy be established which learns the lessons from the strategy employed by defra in England.


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