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.
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.
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.