Introducing the Environmental Land Management scheme to incentivise sustainable farming practices, create habitats for nature recovery and establish new woodland to allegedly help tackle climate change.
"However, the rate at which direct support reductions will take place, which we understand will not be applied in other parts of the United Kingdom, leaves English farmers with significant questions". It will consist of three components with farmers and land managers will be able to assess which component is best-suited to their land.
The Farming Investment Fund for Equipment and Technology and Transformation will be open for applications in autumn 2021.
It will include two levels.
The money saved will be redirected to new schemes that will pay farmers to harness their land to protect wildlife and boost carbon stocks through actions such as tree planting and restoring soils, the government says.
The Government has committed to maintaining the £2.4 billion per year for farming over this parliament, but plans to halve the £1.8 billion paid in direct payments by 2024, with the biggest reductions in the highest payment bands.
Businesses who receive £30,000 or less per year will see their subsidy fall by 5% in 2021, followed by a gradual increase to 50% by 2024.
Farmers now receiving between £30,000 to £50,000 a year in BPS payments are on course to face reductions even higher than that.
But the payments have never been quite enough to compensate for the loss of the income I would have received if I had farmed more intensively, and certainly not enough to compensate for the form filling and the stress of the battles I have had with the civil servants over the interpretation of ever-changing rules.
The NFU argues livestock farmers will have lost up to 80 percent of their income by 2024 under the current plans, and has pressed the government for more information about how the new scheme will replace that lost income.
Minette Batters, president of the National Farmers' Union of England and Wales, said: "Defra has embraced numerous industry's ideas for sustainable farming and food production in designing this new agricultural policy for England".
"These are the questions Defra needs to answer urgently, for every farming sector and every part of the country".
The Country Land and Business Association (CLA), which represents 30,000 rural businesses, said while the new system had the potential to be "genuinely world-leading", the transition away from the European Union was "fraught with risk".
"This lack of detail risks casting a shadow over government's laudable aims".
"We want farmers to access public money to help their businesses become more productive and sustainable, whilst taking steps to improve the environment and animal welfare, and deliver climate change outcomes on the land they manage".
"If we work together to get this right, then a decade from now the rest of the world will want to follow our lead", he said.
"Of course, their effectiveness will depend on a clearer direction of travel for farmers and other land managers and a firm foundation of regulation, where Defra's plans still remain murky".
For example, the final design for the future ELMS will continue to evolve and adapt through co-design exercises, such as on-farm tests and trials.
Officials want the new scheme to be more flexible and less prescriptive than the environmental schemes under the EU's Common Agricultural Policy, in which farmers complained of inspectors measuring field margins with tape measures and penalising them if they were a few centimetres out.
The new system announced today represents the most significant change to farming and land management in England in 70 years.
What are the key changes?