SRUC welcomes new National Test Programme
Farmers in Scotland are being told how to prepare and make a claim towards the cost of carbon audits and soil analysis.
SRUC has welcomed the launch of a Scottish Government programme which gives farmers, crofters and land managers access to new guidance on financial support for activity that will improve awareness of their climate performance.
The first phase of Track 1 of the National Test Programme (NTP): Preparing for Sustainable Farming, aims to help them to prepare their farms to meet the conditions of future agriculture policy and support.
The guidance includes information on how to prepare and make a claim towards the cost of carbon audits and soil analysis with links to supporting information.
Through Track 1, suckler beef producers will also receive access to YourHerdStats, a new online tool within the ScotEID system that will securely present herd management information and highlight opportunities for further improvement.
This will be delivered through the NTP which was announced in October 2021 and is supported by up to £51 million over the next three years. Further detail on Track 2 of the Programme will be issued in the coming months.
Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “We want Scotland to become a global leader in sustainable and regenerative agriculture and our farmers, crofters and land managers have a crucial role to play in helping us meet our climate emissions and nature restoration targets. We have been clear in our commitment to supporting farmers and crofters to produce more of our food more sustainably which will ultimately help make our food system more resilient.
“To help them on this journey, we will continue to support active farming and food production with direct payments.
“Many are already leading the way having carried out carbon audits and soil sampling work but we are offering support to encourage all farmers and crofters to undertake this.
“We are planning to introduce enhanced conditionality for payments with targeted outcomes for biodiversity gain and a drive towards low carbon approaches. The work on the NTP has been co-developed with industry to ensure that farmers, crofters and land managers have what they need as we move towards the new Scottish Agriculture Bill which will be brought forward in 2023 and will provide a replacement for the Common Agricultural Policy.
“I want to encourage all eligible people to make a claim once the portal is open and take the next step towards the future of Scottish agriculture. We have made the claims process as simple and straightforward as possible and it can be completed and accessed online. Anyone who requires any support with making a claim should contact their local RPID area office.”
Andrew Lacey, SRUC’s Vice Principal, Commercial Services, said: “We welcome the launch of the National Test Programme, which is a crucial first step towards Scotland realising its ambition of becoming a global leader in sustainable farming. Scotland’s Rural College stands ready to help deliver the programme and boost the natural economy. With our market-leading Agrecalc tool, SAC Consulting is helping farmers toward delivering net-zero emissions from food production while increasing the level of both efficiency and farm productivity, while SRUC’s soil analysis services are a gold standard in the industry and attuned to Scottish soil conditions.
“Furthermore, our team delivering the Farm Advisory Service are ready and waiting to guide farmers and crofters who need support through this change.”
Posted by SRUC on 29/04/2022