THE GOVERNMENT is encouraging farmers across England to help cut back red tape and improve farming standards.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has launched a voluntary Whole Farm Appraisal pilot.

The on-line package aims to become a “one-stop shop” for registering key information about farming businesses.

“We‘re looking to integrate three strategic databases – land, livestock, and business information,” said project manager Charles McCall.

The new initiative, covered in the 8 May issue of Crops magazine, needs sufficient farmer take-up to make the project work.

But if successful it will save farmers many hours spent filling in forms for bodies such as DEFRA, the Environment Agency and other regional bodies, said Mr McCall.

IACS information could, for example, be cross-referenced to the June census.

Farm assurance data could be automatically picked up for cross-compliance or business details used to help licence renewals and applications.

For more details and farmer feedback see Crops, 8 May issue.