The Government’s Agriculture Bill has passed into UK law today (November 11).

Beginning next year, farmers will have a seven year transition period to adapt to a new agricultural system. Further details will be announced in late November.

The Agriculture Bill sets out how farmers and land managers will be rewarded in the future with public money for “public goods” – such as better air and water quality, thriving wildlife, soil health, or measures to reduce flooding and tackle the effects of climate change, under the Environmental Land Management scheme. These incentives aim to provide a vehicle for achieving the goals of the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan and commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

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Environment Secretary George Eustice said:

“Our landmark Agriculture Act will transform the way we support farmers.

“The funds released as a result of the phasing out of the legacy Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) will be re-invested into a roll out of our future farming policy, which will be centred around support aimed at incentivising sustainable farming practices, creating habitats for nature recovery and supporting the establishment of new woodland and other ecosystem services to help tackle challenges like climate change.

“We will support farmers in reducing their costs and improving their profitability, to help those who want to retire or leave the industry to do so with dignity, and to create new opportunities and support for new entrants coming in to the industry.”