The fact that 50% of tillage farmers expect to lose rented land in 2024 just shows the wide reaches of the ongoing Nitrates debacle, among other tillage pressure points.

Our exclusive survey shows that 16% of those surveyed have already lost land ahead of winter planting. The tillage exodus is real.

Farmers who completed our survey called for details of the Tillage Incentive Scheme, in addition to a flat rate tillage payment. They say the price of inputs and lowering grain prices means they cannot compete for land.

The birds in the trees can see that tillage is on the way out if policy intervention does not happen soon. This is all while some of the remaining 2023 crops and straw sit in wet ground, losing more money.

The budget is approaching fast, but details of any possible exceptional aid or future scheme details are needed even faster.

Important dates and deadlines

This week, Darren Carty outlines the numerous scheme deadlines, scheme application windows, and new rules that farmers need to adhere to over the next number of weeks and months.

The list is phenomenal, and illustrates the level of complexity and regulatory compliance that farmers must adhere to just to simply maintain farming at the moment.

The already long list continues to grow and, as Darren pointed out at the Ploughing demonstrations, it’s hard for commentators to keep up with the list of demands on farmers at this time of the year, not to mind farmers also juggling a day’s physical farming demands.

There is a real fear among farmers that this type of regulation will ultimately deter young people from getting involved in farming.

As the Department of Agriculture speakers at our series of CAP events said last autumn, the theoretical objective of the new CAP was to simplify CAP. However, the reality is it has got far more complex and disjointed.