From Amber Barton

I work for the AHDB and we currently have funding from DEFRA to help farms in England prepare for the coming changes in agriculture. It is free and AHDB aren’t a commercial organisation so are completely independent.

You are likely aware that from 2021 the area-based Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) in England is being phased out over seven years and alternatives are being introduced, which marks a period of significant change and challenge for much of the agricultural industry. This shift in agricultural policy will have a serious impact on many farmers’ income, affecting the resilience and sustainability of their businesses.

We hope to help alleviate some of these pressures and help farmers navigate to a more secure future. With the funding secured from Defra, we have established a free Farm Business Review Service, which offers farmers a combination of an online self-assessment tool, expert advice and peer support to help businesses prepare for the loss of the BPS. Designed for grazing livestock and cereals and oilseeds producers who are most affected by the move away from direct payments, the online Farm Business Review tool includes the following elements:

• BPS Impact Calculator: How will BPS reductions impact your business?

• Business Resilience Assessment: Is your business fit and ready for the future?

• KPI Express Calculator: How well is your farm performing?

Our goal is to get 4,000 farms signed up to the tool to help individuals fully understand the implications of the loss of direct payments. This information will be supported by access to a half day 1:1 with a consultant who will provide an action plan of potential options to help individuals secure their business’ resilience, mitigate for the loss of income and plan for the future. Subsequently those with the greatest need for additional support will be offered bespoke on-farm advice to support specific areas of their business, such as Full-Farm Benchmarking, Carbon Audits and Agribusiness Appraisals.