Next Generation ELMs Discussion
On Tuesday the 1st of September about a dozen younger farmers gathered at a social distance in a barn to talk through ELMs. The Dartmoor ELMs Project Officer presented a summary of what's known currenlty about ELMs generally and then outlined the objectives of the Dartmoor Test & Trial and the results thus far before opening up the session for wider discussion. These are the notes from that discussion (note taking was slightly hampered by a lack of lighting and the fact it was a late evning meeting).
Fortunate carbon and clean air are one of them [the Public Goods Defra have inidcated ELMs will fund] because carbon works well with productivity. Yes they won't pay you to grow livestock but they may pay you to grow livestock in a less intensive way.
It's fine if they pay for what's already there, it's fine but that's not the way it works at the moment. The poor farming practices get all the funding.
From the talks I've seen around the scorecard system it enables you to make business choices. Between the levels it should be a _______ amount of money.
Personally I think common agreements need to be set on a personal basis. It should be available for those with rights who are willing. Give people an option to give it a go.
How does that impact on non-graziers?
Non-graziers always need to be recognised because otherwise they'll want to be grazing.
Could we tackle that with the monitoring?
Personally I feel commons and home farm should be in an agreement to stop people trashing the option which isn't in an agreement.
You need an agreement which is robust enough, with some teeth, to make sure they behave.
It's important that any agreement can aloow people to join.
Our common non-graziers and graziers get the same.
Working on an outcome basis is an opportunity to experiment.
I'd like to go back to the old system, we get paid to make our food product sustainable to buy.
I find the 10 year schemes don't help new entrants because people hang on for the duration.
Annual rolling scheme would help.
Landlords will only let you join if you give them money.
Annual payment in arrears would be useful because you'd have a check every year and be confident you were on the right track. Also, if you were paid in arrears that would mean you didn't have to worry.
Phase out old farmers as you phase new farmers in, keeping a mentoring role [not a point made by a young farmer].
Succession both ends is important.
We need to be careful that mentoring isn't too "authoritative".
It's easy to get information for other types of farms but it's hard to get realistic targets for Dartmoor.
It's quite useful for government to have that information about farm business performance.
Flip side it will be used to reduce payment and landlord to up rent.
It would be nice to work with more trust.
Schemes last 10 years, neighbours for life so it has to be very carefully done [on the common].
Shared agreements need to go in with everyone's name.
More data enables accurate business decisions.
I think it's using apps. I use Agrinet and it's fabulous but it's about finding one which works with you.
Also apps make you walk your land and that's worth almost as much.