Agriculture: Land

(asked on 23rd March 2022) - View Source

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to reconsider their priorities for agriculture and rural land use policy owing to the impact of the war in Ukraine.

Answered by
Lord Benyon Portrait
Lord Benyon
This question was answered on 6th April 2022

On 30 March the Government announced steps to assist farmers, address uncertainty and keep costs down. Planned changes to the use of urea fertiliser have been delayed by at least a year. The delay has been made to help farmers deal with rising input costs and to give them more time to adapt.

The Government also published revised statutory guidance on how farmers should limit the use of slurry and other farmyard manure at certain times of the year. This will be supported through new slurry storage grants as of this year, helping farmers reduce their dependence on artificial fertiliser.

Alongside this, the Government has published further details on the Sustainable Farming Incentive. The scheme will pay farmers to build the health and fertility of their soil and reduce soil erosion which are essential for sustainable food production, helping to bolster food security and longer-term resilience of the sector.

The Government will pay farmers to help with the costs of sowing nitrogen fixing plants and green manures or in advance of their crops. This will help substitute some of their fertiliser requirements for the coming season and reduce their dependence on manufactured fertilisers linked to the price of gas. In addition, an industry fertiliser roundtable has been set up and chaired by the Farming Minister, to work on these issues, identify solutions and better understand the pressures facing farmers at this time.

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