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  • Harriet Bell

Young Farmers Discuss ELM

On the 21st October a group of young farmers gathered at Shallowford Farm, at an appropriate social distance to discuss the Dartmoor Test and Trial.


They were presented with the four research objectives and work/outcomes to date.


Below are the notes from that discussion:

  • In response to blended finance options, thinks it should be a carbon tax rather than offsetting.

  • Commoner's Council don't have the man power to do spatial priorities.

  • Important to have lots of stakeholders working together so that they agree and can select clear guidelines.

  • As long as it's even on the management board [referring to commons agreement system involving new management board proposed by Advisory Team].

  • Farmers on the board need to be from all different backgrounds, needs to be a good range.

  • Random selection of management board could end up with people who shouldn't be because they're looking after their own interest.

  • You'd need continuity.

  • Make people declare interests on board.

  • The scorecard will need to recognise the trade off between clean air and not storing versus not being out poaching.

  • They oughtn't to be doing funding for things that make farms less sustainable.

  • If you know the revenue is there you could get a lone for capital works.

  • They could do it as a bond. Done through ELM with no fees/low cost.

  • For slurry and manure spreading use the GPS box on the PTO [? not sure got right acronym]. Then it will automatically work out rate of spreading, so minimal report effort. That would also help you identify sources of diffuse pollution.

  • The key point with ELM is that it's home farm.

  • You should be able to go into a commons agreement if you're in an agreement on your home farm.

  • You could do it where what you're farming on the moor comes in. Link the payments together.

  • I think a lot of the time they're limiting stocking numbers, they think they're helping but they're just moving the problem.

  • The welfare and diseases, instead of paying money reward people for only moving stock to home farm.

  • If it's a Dartmoor scheme why not set welfare goals like being BVD free?

  • Lot's of new entrants don't have a home farm.

  • If you breed your own stock that should be supported, because it reduces the risks of bringing in disease.

  • Heritage should be rare and native breed like the South Devon. Disease management comes under engagement because it makes visitors less of a risk.

  • I just can't understand why they're not spending money on research to teach farmers to farm more sustainably.

  • Technology is getting far better.

  • Reporting should be done using a system which can be done vis an app.

  • One of the most useful things would be if all the new farm apps and tools can talk to each other.

  • Don't bother looking at paper stuff.

  • Holding data together.

  • Could get warped data e.g. you don't account for your own time. That should be factored into your business data.

  • If they put it in at a cot price basis people aren't going to bother.

  • Fire management is a role of stock. If it's just payments for costs incurred it won't be grazed.

  • There's this obsession with trees, people want them everywhere. What's the point when internationally rainforests are being destroyed?

  • The schemes wins when farm business and environment work together.

  • Scheme should be picking up on the current good work and valuing it e.g. such as where hedges are still standing.

  • Gateway re-location

  • Scheme should enable farmers to make their own management decisions.

  • Want all the stakeholders on board, signing off together.

  • Not fair that we have to plant trees so that other people can continue flying. Net gain is going to result in people buying up land to plant trees.

  • Personally I feel the biggest opportunity for blended finance would be to do it as a whole Dartmoor approach. To hold the money and invest it.

  • Liked the idea of group investment.

  • If someone's lagging behind we could get together to figure out why and help.

  • Agreement would have to be water tight. So all possible situations are covered to prevent issues going forward.

  • Government should be paying as much as possible, private sector money should be a top up.

  • If we're having one boy for Dartmoor I'd like them to be responsible for net gain. Acting as a business in setting up investment opportunities and managing them.

  • Those o us farming in the park it will work best if we do it together, cut down the costs for us.

  • Does engagement cover linking in to supermarkets and engaging consumers? Can it be used to educate on the label? Can supermarkets then invest?

  • Mitigate climate change encourage

  • We had proper mixed farms growing up.

  • Farmers specialise

  • It can go the other way, if ELMs makes it financially viable to look after the environment.

  • Needs to be simplified so people can understand.

  • How do we manage the scorecard?

  • You have to have someone to come and monitor.

  • They should be coming in to advise, not checking to penalize.

  • Self-monitoring online would make it a lot easier.

  • GPS photos for monitoring in real time.

  • I can't see holder generation whipping out their smart phone but people could buy in support with monitoring.

  • If your part of a benchmarking group you could go around and assess each other.

  • If, for these schemes, we work together more and help each other more it should work pretty well.

  • As a society we have to recognise the model of constant growth is not sustainable. Cost of production does not translate to sustainability.

  • The public are our customers. It's no longer European money, it's our taxes, so we need to start thinking of them as our customers.

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