Group of people on a hillside
Group of people on a hillside

Jenny  Walking Sheep Up Street
Jenny Walking Sheep Up Street

Beekeepers examining a frame of bees
Beekeepers examining a frame of bees

Group of people on a hillside
Group of people on a hillside

  • Harriet Bell

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.

Farm apps used: FarmWorks, EID Draft Crate [?], Agrinet [mixed reviews], Farm Max [?]

  • 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.

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