Know How / Agricultural transition

British farming is undergoing a new agricultural revolution. Farmers must adapt to the biggest changes the sector has seen for more than 50 years. Direct payments will make way for a government support system that rewards farmers for environmental work – improving soil health, air and water quality and storing carbon to help mitigate the impact of climate change. On Farmer’s Weekly’s Agricultural Transition page, farmers can find advice to help them do that profitably and sustainably.

Advice and tips


Sussex farm weighs pros and cons of biodiversity pilot scheme

The concept of biodiversity net gain (BNG) will become increasingly familiar over the next few years as developers look for land on which to offset their environmental obligations.  Doing a…


7 steps to adopt a biological-based system on arable farms

Most growers would like to move to a less chemical-dependent future, but while the theory sounds good, the practicalities are much more challenging. Regenerative agricultural consultant and farmer Ben Taylor-Davies,…


How to establish, manage and rejuvenate hedgerows

Healthy hedges are a lifeline for wildlife, providing food and habitat, including for many of the birds within the Farmland Bird Index as well as for priority mammal species in…


Exit payments: What should farmers do to prepare for 2022?

Farmers in England learned last week that Defra is planning to offer them the chance to take a lump sum exit payment in 2022 instead of collecting their remaining Basic…

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Case studies


Arable farm assesses collaboration moves after BPS phaseout

Cost savings of 20-30% were achieved by Buckinghamshire-based Antony Pearce when he formed two different joint-venture farming arrangements, with economies of scale being realised at both sites. While one of…


Soil is key as Norfolk estate prepares for end of subsidies

Improving soil health is key for one Norfolk farming estate as it looks to cut crop inputs and raise yields to prepare for a future without direct farm subsidies. After…


Why arable yield is not king without support payments

Yield is commonly king when it comes to driving profitability, but does it have to be that way? It definitely isn’t for Ed Horton, farming 1,000ha on the home farm…


How Kent farmer has cut costs by focusing on soil health

James Loder-Symonds is setting ambitious targets for his Kent farm as he prepares for a future based on enhancing natural capital, delivering public goods and becoming carbon neutral. Good progress…

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Will soil carbon be the next big crop for growers?

It feels like a perfect storm: the urgency of climate change, the global surge in interest in regenerative agricultural practices and the need for new income streams. They are all…


Will Defra's lump-sum exit scheme appeal to farmers?

Faced with the greatest farm policy shake-up in 50 years, farmers have been frustrated in recent times by the lack of detail about what is to replace the CAP –…


How focus on environment over food will affect land prices

More than 70% of land in England is used for agriculture, and under the CAP the sector’s primary objective was to provide food for the population. However, a change is…


Trade and farm policy enter new era outside the EU

Brexit became reality at the start of the year, as the 11-month transition ended and the new Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) with the EU kicked in. But what has…

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SFI pilot farmers to get £5,000 each ‘to help Defra learn’

Further details have emerged about how Defra plans to pay farmers who will be testing the government’s Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) pilot in England. Every farmer included in the pilot…


More than 2,000 farmers interested in joining SFI pilot

More than 2,000 farmers have expressed interest in joining the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) pilot, Defra has announced. Alongside the Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery schemes, the SFI will…


Lump sum payments of up to £100,000 revealed by Defra

Farmers claiming under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) in England will soon be able to receive their money in advance as part of a lump sum exit scheme, Defra has…


Low uptake of SFI pilot from tenants over viability fears

Lack of information about how the upcoming Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme will deliver payments to farmers has caused tenants to disengage from the pilot process. The Tenant Farmers Association…

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FW Podcast Episode 41: ELM, Brexit and that Oatly campaign

In this episode, paying farmers to look after the environment could create more stable farm incomes, say researchers. We examine possible payment rates for the forthcoming Environmental Land Management Scheme…


Farmers Weekly Podcast Episode 36: Post Brexit farm support

The government launches its plans for post Brexit farm support, but have they told us anything new? As EU trade talks enter the very final stages what is it really…


FW Podcast Episode 35: Long wait for ELM funding clarity

We take a sneak preview as the government finally prepares to unveil details of its flagship Environmental Land Management scheme. How easy will it be to join? And how much…


FW Podcast Episode 33: Machinery dealer shake-up, BPS and ELM

A shake-up in the farm machinery dealer network has seen major restructuring for big name brands and franchises. We look at what it means for farmers – and for other…

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Test and reviews


How do three main farm carbon calculators compare?

Want to know how much your farm is contributing to industry net-zero targets and how to improve? Or are you looking to access carbon trading markets or other financial incentives…

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Video: Harvest on carbon-neutral OSR grower's farm

Duncan Farrington, an arable farmer in Northamptonshire, who produced the world’s first carbon- and plastic-neutral food product, has now completed harvest of his 36ha of rapeseed where the hybrid variety…

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Webinar: How to stay profitable in the face of change

With change coming fast in the form of the Agriculture Act, this webinar helps farmers learn how their business can stay profitable and deliver on the government’s green agenda. Discussion…


Webinar: Evaluating the challenges facing farming in 2021

Evaluating the financial, business and personal challenges facing farming in 2021 Uncertainty has always been crippling either from a business perspective or a personal one and unfortunately we are dealing…


AHDB webinars: Brexit, trading and support for farmers

Leaving the EU is at the forefront of all UK farming industry’s priorities list, together with our partners at AHDB we have put together a series of three webinars looking…

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