Agriculture is changing. The system
of farm subsidies is undergoing reform, and in future more emphasis
will be placed on farming sustainably than on maximising yields.
A new ‘broad and shallow’ system of payments to farmers
– the Entry Level Stewardship Scheme – is being piloted
in four areas of England until 2005, at which time it is expected
that the scheme will be rolled out nationally. This will reward
many more farmers with an annual flat-rate payment for managing
land in an environmentally friendly way for public benefit.
is also gaining ground. With the incentive of government subsidies
and increasing demand for organic food, organic farming is becoming
a viable option for a larger percentage of the farming sector.
The environmental benefits associated with organic production
are well known.
A shift in
financial support to farmers away from production subsidies and
towards measures that enhance the environment is central to the
Government’s strategy for sustainable farming and food.
Farming practice on the Cholderton Estate demonstrates how this
vision for farming can be realised.