AECS and Pains – Getting to Grips with Agri-Environment Schemes

Are you trying to get to grips with the Agri-Environment and Climate Scheme (AECS), or wondering how managing your land differently could impact production?

This practical event will look at ‘win-win’ situations, where agri-environmental management can benefit both wildlife and production, e.g. field margins increasing the number of insects, which pollinate plants or compete with pests, thereby boosting yield.

You will also spend time exploring some of the practicalities and challenges associated with applying for and managing land under an AECS scheme.

Around 100 people took part in the first meeting of the new Nithsdale Monitor Farm.

The Monitor Farms initiative aims to help improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Scottish farm businesses. It is being run jointly by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds. Nine new Monitor Farms are hosting open meetings, with events kicking off on 26 January and running until 6 March 2017.

A recent event in Brussels brought together young farmers and representatives of National Rural Networks from across Europe.

The workshop on 'Generational Renewal through Rural Development' took place on 25 January 2017 and was organised jointly by the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD) and CEJA - the European Council for Young Farmers.

After a successful Local Action Group (LAG) assessment meeting on Tuesday 24 January when eight further project applications were approved, Scottish Borders LEADER have now committed to funding totalling £705,000. 

So far Scottish Borders LEADER LAG have awarded grants to 15 projects:

The Agri-Environment and Climate Scheme (AECS) has opened for applications today (30 January 2017).

AECS is part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP). The AECS scheme promotes land management practices which protect and enhance Scotland’s magnificent natural heritage, improve water quality, manage flood risk and mitigate and adapt to climate change. It will also help to improve public access and preserve historic sites.

Watch our short video from the Scottish Association of Young Farmers' Agri & Rural Affairs Committee conference 'Cultivating Excellence'.

Young farmers from across the country gathered in Aberdeenshire in November 2016 to learn from industry experts, award-winning farmers and each other.

In our three-minute video from the event, you can find out more about the conference and why it's one of the highlights of the young farmers' calendar.

Lochaber Monitor Farm meeting

The first Lochaber Monitor Farm Meeting is taking place on Thursday 26 January at Strone Farm, and will be hosted by Chris Cameron. Lunch and afternoon session is at Mooring Hotel, lunch will be provided.

The first meeting will cover:

Nine new Monitor Farms across the country will be opening their gates to local farming communities in the coming weeks.

The objective of the Monitor Farm Scotland programme is to help improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of farm businesses through practical demonstrations, the sharing of best practice and the group approach to addressing industry issues.

NFU Scotland are carrying out a survey for women in agriculture.

The organisation realises that there are a great number of women amongst its membership, and wishes to identify barriers to their engagement with NFU Scotland. 

NFU Scotland wants to improve how the union functions in the interests of all its members.

Take the survey

A new agricultural EIP-AGRI Focus Group on benchmarking draws attention to the benefits and makes a number of recommendations for improvements.

Benchmarking is finding out how you are doing compared to other similar businesses and using this information to improve. For farmers this can include comparing data on feed costs, herd health, crop yields and so on.