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Diversification into Countryside Stewardship and Sustainable Farming Incentive schemes

The increased risk associated with high and volatile input prices and the prospect of BPS being phased out in 2027, is driving more and more farms to consider CS and SFI schemes. A number of farms ask whether to go straight for SFI schemes given that in time CS schemes will fold into ELMS; CS and SFI are not mutually exclusive but there is perhaps more certainty around CS schemes given that they have been running for several years and there is not yet the same level of detail available for some of the ELMS schemes. The way forward for each farm will depend on the farm objectives, farm geography, production systems alongside considerations of BPS phasing out and volatile input prices. What is for sure is that the record keeping requirements for both CS and SFI are significant - from retention of invoices, through to permissions and regular photographic evidence of compliance to Option requirements.

Demand Economics has a growing number of farms signing up to a new way of collecting and managing the information required as evidence for CS and SFI. A simple login to the Farm Economics App on your office computer enables you to see what tasks have been completed, what you have left to do and keeps all the records required (invoices, photos etc.) for each Option and Parcel. Alongside the desktop login you also can access the Farm Economics Smartphone App which enables you to take photos using your standard phone camera, and stores the pictures with the correct Option and field Parcel. In addition, the App now includes a calendar with all the key management action dates where they appear on each Option.

There is no hassle of having to download software onto your computer - you simply get a login code and you can access your CS and SFI records instantly, and start to upload evidence. A number of farms also provide login access to Inspectors so that all the work is done by them before a visit takes place.

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Contact Adam Donaldson on 07907 581094, to find out more about Countryside Stewardship online record management.

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