You are here: Homepage > Food and Farming > Farming management

Farming management

Barn and animals in countryside

Managing a farming business involves understanding and dealing with all of the usual business issues – employment, tax, balancing the books – but there’s also a host of more specialist areas, such as the Single Payment Scheme and Cross Compliance issues.

The Business Link website provides for plain English guides on topics such as funding, schemes and grants; farm business planning; farm financial planning; and diversification.

Latest news

Taylor Review “Science for a new age of agriculture”

This report provides an overview of progress made so far towards implementing the recommendations of the Taylor Review ‘Science for a new age of agriculture’ – a pre election Conservative Party document, is reflected in Defra’s Structural Reform Plan priorities (published in the Department’s Business Plan 2011-15), to develop British farming and encourage sustainable food production. The report highlights the role of science in helping farmers increase production whilst reducing harmful emissions and conserving natural resources, and highlights existing activities and identifies new developments and activities initiated by Government Departments in partnership with industry and interested parties since publication of the Review in September 2010.

Review of regulations

Defra appreciates that farmers and growers have a lot of regulations to comply with, and is looking at ways to reduce this regulatory burden. You can read more about the background to the review.

Interest free loans for farmers

English farmers can now apply for unsecured, interest free loans from the Carbon Trust to upgrade to more energy-efficient equipment. The loans, provided over one to four years, should pay for themselves through reduced energy costs, and then provide annual savings. The Carbon Trust website has more information on the loans.

CAP and the Single Payment Scheme

The Single Payment Scheme (SPS) distributes more than £1.5 billion to over 100,000 farmers in England each year, through the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).

SPS is a part of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) – the framework under which farmers operate. CAP is intended to create a sustainable, competitive agricultural sector – and one that benefits consumers, taxpayers and the environment. It is clear CAP needs reform if it is to achieve these objectives. Learn more about CAP reform and Defra’s role in these important EU-wide discussions.

Agricultural employment and wages

Defra sets minimum wage rates and terms and conditions for agricultural workers. It also created legislation establishing a licensing scheme for labour providers, so-called ‘gangmasters’, who supply workers to the agriculture, food processing and shellfish gathering sectors.

Education and training

Defra’s Skills for Farming Project, developed with the farming industry, has produced a strategy and action plan to improve skills development in the farming industry. Learn more about the strategy and the variety of resources for agricultural training and development.

Page last modified: 31 January 2011