Agricultural Policy

Welsh Government Provide Financial Boost For Digital Infrastructure Ahead of Bovine EID

Welsh Government has announced funding of 500,000 pounds to support digital infrastructure developments for eligible livestock markets, collection centres and abattoirs in Wales.

The funding, which has been administered through Hybu Cig Cymru - Meat Promotion Wales, is available to small and medium-sized businesses to help the move towards a single multi-species database for traceability.

From February 1 to the 30 April 2020, businesses which are considered as Central Point Recording Centres (CPRCs) can apply for funding to improve their digital infrastructure which will support the future introduction of Bovine EID tags. Once introduced, cattle tags will be able to be scanned and uploaded to EIDCymru as is currently available for sheep.

In preparation for the Bovine EID consultation, the Farmers’ Union of Wales have undertaken a visit with DEFRA officials to an abattoir in Wales in order to explore the implications of implementing Bovine EID and to discuss cross border implications. The FUW will continue to work in partnership with the wider industry and is in the process of setting up Bovine EID farmer focus-groups to aid in efficient delivery of the technology.



Beware of Hedge Cutting Restrictions to Avoid Penalties

Farmers are being urged to remember the hedge cutting regulations which are in place as part of cross compliance to avoid a penalty on their BPS payment.

Farmers are not allowed to cut trees or hedges between 1 March to 31 August. Anyone not complying with the rules could face a hefty cross compliance penalty on their BPS payment which is avoidable.

There are exceptions to the standard rule, but only if the conditions are met can you start cutting early or late. You can also carry out hedge laying and coppicing during March providing nesting birds are not disturbed. However, we urge our members to make sure they don’t fall foul by accident.

Other exemptions include the cutting of hedgerows or trees that overhang a highway, road, track or footpath to which the public have access, where the work is necessary because the overhanging vegetation either obstructs the passage of vehicles or pedestrians; obstructs the view of drivers, or the light from a public lamp; or there is a danger to horse-riders.

Farmers are also allowed to cut or trim hedgerows and trees if they are dead, diseased, damaged or insecurely rooted, and are therefore likely to cause a danger by falling onto a highway, road or footpath.

We also urge our members to remember that for safety reasons, electricity and telephone companies are responsible for the maintenance of any overhanging trees and/or hedges which affect their equipment.

Farmers Wanted for Survey on the Impact of Stress and Fatigue in Farming

The University of Aberdeen is conducting an interview study with farmers on stress and fatigue and the influence of these factors on ‘situation awareness’.

The information will help determine the causes and effects of stress and fatigue in agriculture, especially the impact on the mental picture of the environment. Respondents will also be asked to complete a short demographic survey at the end. The experiment offers a chance for farmers to share their experiences on stress and fatigue and to help the community by building a better understanding of farmer safety.

The study can take place either via telephone or on site at your farm and lasts 30-40 minutes. Interested members must be aged over 18 and should contact Ilinca Tone via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Expression of Interest Window Dates

Scheme Summary Window Close
Farming Connect Skills and Training Programme The programme allows anyone registered with Farming Connect to apply for funding of up to 80% towards completing short training courses. The full list of courses available can be viewed here and further information is available here. 28 February 2020
Enabling Natural Resources and Well-being Scheme This scheme offers support to businesses for projects which work towards the Well-being of Future Generations Act.  It works towards the 6 priorities of Rural Development i.e. conserving and enhancing wildlife and biodiversity, therefore activities could include improving and enhancing local environment quality.  Further information regarding the scheme can be found here. 13 March 2020
HCC Hill Ram Scheme The second expression of interest window is now open for HCC’s Hill Ram Scheme.  The scheme offers the chance for Welsh hill farmers to improve performance recording with the use of DNA parentage technology to help improve flock performance.  There are currently 29 flocks across Wales participating in the scheme and HCC is now looking to recruit a further 20 to join the scheme.  Those interested should contact the HCC on 01970 625050.  The EOI form can be found here. 31 March 2020
Farming Connect Agri Academy The application window for the 2020 Agri Academy is now open.  The Academy provides training, mentoring and support in 3 sessions throughout the programme.  There are 2 separate elements, the Business and Innovation Programme, and the Junior Programme.  Follow here and select the programme you are interested in to find out more information, key dates and how to apply. 31 March 2020
Glastir Small Grants Claim Deadline The deadline to claim for Glastir Small Grants work is 31 March 2020.  By this date, all applicants must have completed the practical work, taken geo-tag photos and filled in the claims form.  Boundaries such as hedges and fences must be measures to ensure the claimant does not over-claim. 31 March 2020
Dŵr Cymru Pesticide Scheme Dŵr Cymru will be relaunching their free and confidential Pesticide Disposal Scheme for farmers, growers, gamekeepers, foresters and land managers to safely dispose of any wanted or out of date pesticides and herbicides.  Participants that took part in 2019 can take part again in 2020 and dispose of 30L/Kg of eligible products for free. Register between 1 - 31 March 2020
Farm Business Grant The 7th expression of interest window for the Farm Business Grant opens on 2 March 2020. In order to be eligible, scheme members will have to attend a Farming Connect event - ‘Farming for the Future’, if they have not already attended one in the past:
  • March 3 2020, Glastir, Llanrwst, 7pm
  • March 5 2020, Penglais School, Aberystwyth, 7pm
  • March 10 2020, The Princess Royal Theatre, Port Talbot, 7pm
Contact Farming Connect to book your place.
10 April 2020
BPS Transfer of Entitlements You can now transfer BPS entitlements through sale, lease or inheritance.  It must be accessed through the RPW online account.  The recipient of entitlements transferred by sale or lease must meet the Active Farmer requirements (see SAF Rules for details). 30 April 2020

Consultations Pending

i) Welsh Government Clean Air Plan For Wales

The aim of the Clean Air Plan for Wales is to improve air quality and ‘reduce the burden of poor air quality on human health, biodiversity and the natural environment in Wales’.

The plan uses themes to address areas of impact where future action is required. These themes include improving air quality to:
Protect the health and well-being of current and future generations
Support our natural environment, ecosystems and biodiversity
Support a prosperous Wales
Support a sustainable place

Please follow click here for the consultation document. Deadline for responses is 10 March 2020.


ii) Welsh Government Changes to Planning and Related Applications Fees

This Welsh Government consultation proposes to retain the current planning fee structure as set out in the 2015 regulations in the short-term and increase all planning fees by around 20%. In addition, to support Local Planning Authorities when determining applications for certificates of appropriate alternative development, they propose to introduce a fee of £230 per application.

In the longer term, Welsh Government aims to consider whether there is a need to reform the method of charging planning fees for supporting the cost recovery process.

Please follow click here for the consultation document. Deadline for responses is 13 March 2020.


iii) Welsh Government Beyond Recycling - Circular Economy Strategy

Welsh Government is aiming to move towards a circular economy in Wales whereby waste is avoided, as much as possible is recycled and products stay in use for longer. From 1997 to 2017, Wales has transformed from a nation which recycled less than 5% of its municipal waste, to become an international leader that recycles 63%. Likewise, greenhouse gas emissions from waste reduced by 60% between 2001 and 2017.

The consultation looks to produce a strategy that will make Wales:

  • A world leader in recycling
  • Phase out single use plastic
  • Invest in clean technology for materials collection by introducing zero emission vehicles
  • Make more efficient use of our food working with businesses from farm to fork
  • Priorities the purchasing of wood, re-manufactured and recycled content
  • Enable communities to take collective action
  • Support all businesses in Wales to reduce their carbon footprint and become more resource efficient
  • And take full responsibility for our waste

Please follow click here to view the consultation document and associated documents which summarise the strategy. Deadline for responses is 3 April 2020.