The Whole Farm Approach, DEFRA’s internet based system that is intended to save Britain’s farmers time and money, is now operational.

Farmers can register via the site www.wholefarm.defra.gov.uk

The intention is to speed the process of form filling and reduce duplication saving the industry up to £28m a year, depending
on uptake (see News, 16 September 2005).

From the summer farmers will be able to use it to apply for waste exemption licences and complete the June agricultural survey

Free CD

Once farmers have registered their interest in using the system they will receive a [free] CD to install the necessary appraisal, a self-assessment package which builds a detailed appraisal of their farm and its business.

Junior DEFRA minister Lord Bach said:

“We have trialled the system with groups of farmers and their response has been overwhelmingly positive.

“By using information better and sharing it more widely, the direct burdens on farmers will be reduced.

At the same time it will make us more efficient, especially in targeting inspection and enforcement more accurately.”