Uptake of Environmental Schemes: An analysis of the farm business survey 2016-2021

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Agricultural transition is a key pillar of Scotland’s post-Brexit framework for support of farmers. The proposed support framework outlines a greater commitment to reward environmental benefits in line with food production. Understanding why some farmers choose to commit to greater environmental enhancement will be of increasing interest to policy makers who wish to embed nature based and climate enhancing goals within future support policy.

We use the Farm Business Survey (FBS), for the period 2016-2021, and aggregate environmental payments (these cover such aspects as farmland management options, such as management of woodland and wetland). We explore uptake of environmental payments per standard labour requirement against a number of variables between 2016-2021.

· Around 60% of the farms in the FBS have received some environmental payment under pillar 2 but there are wide variances in payment across SLR within farms of the whole FBS cohort.

· Indicators of innovation, information seeking and farm tenancies are drivers of high environmental payments per SLR on farms.

· Farm family life cycle factors have an influence, though succession plans tend to focus on embedding agricultural production, whereas as the farmers reach planned retirement, they tend to increase the intensity of environmental payments.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
Publication statusFirst published - 27 Mar 2024

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