Sheep grazing on Welsh farmland© FLPA/Allen Lloyd/Rex Shutterstock

Farmers in Wales wishing to be considered for a Glastir Advanced agreement starting on 1 January 2017 have just over three weeks to register their interest.

Glastir Advanced is Wales’ most targeted agri-environment scheme, which aims to deliver improvements to habitats, species, soil and water quality.

The expression of interest window for the 2017 scheme year opened for business on 9 November 2015 and closes at midnight on 4 December 2015.

See also: Second chance for farmers to apply to Wales’ green scheme

A budget of about £30m has been allocated to this round of the scheme, as part of Wales’ Rural Development Programme for 2014-2020.

Wendy Jenkins, agricultural consultant with Cymru Agricultural & Rural Advice (Cara), said Glastir Advanced was regarded fairly positively among farmers because they could access capital grants alongside an annual management payment.

Farmers who entered Glastir Entry were unable to get capital grants.

“If you are lucky enough to be selected for Glastir Advanced then it can be a big help for the management of the farm,” she said.

The process is that all expressions of interest are assessed and scored on the farm’s ability to contribute towards the objectives of the scheme.

A number of maps showing the distribution of the objectives throughout Wales have been developed.

Extra points are also available this year for any farms with registered beehives, because of concern over falling pollinator numbers.

In previous years, farmers have been required to have a Glastir Entry contract before applying for Glastir Advanced, however, this is no longer the case.

Farmers wishing to be considered for Glastir Advanced need to submit their expression of interest using an Rural Payments Wales Online account.