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Our position on income forgone

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Today there has been inaccurate coverage of Defra’s position on income foregone plus costs in Farmers Weekly.

The piece claims that Minister Spencer and Defra have “rowed back” on moving beyond income foregone plus costs as the basis for payments in our Environmental Land Management schemes.

This does not reflect Defra’s position or the action that we are taking to make sure that farmers are rewarded fairly for the important actions that they are delivering under our schemes.


Just last month, we increased the payment rates that upland farmers receive through our schemes following feedback from the sector – with new payments at a higher rate.

We have also announced that we will introduce Countryside Stewardship Plus, which will pay farmers extra for taking coordinated action, working with neighbouring farms and landowners to support climate and nature aims.

A Defra spokesperson said:

Our position on income foregone plus costs is clear, and we recognise the challenges that this poses to farmers.

That’s why we’re continuing to explore alternative approaches, to make sure that our schemes are attractive to farmers and reward them fairly for their work, and are already making improvements through Countryside Stewardship Plus and our payment rates for upland farmers.

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