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Preparing for sustainable farming

29 April 2022

Helping to futureproof farms.

Farmers, crofters and land managers now have 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.

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.”


Preparing for Sustainable Farming guidance

Scottish farmers, crofters and agricultural contractors (based in Scotland), can claim for this grant if they:

  • are registered for funding with Scottish Government Rural Payments and Inspections Division (SGRPID)
  • have a Rural Payments and Services (RPS) username and password

Claim must be made online via a new online portal which will be accessed from the Preparing for Sustainable Farming guidance page on Rural Payments and Services website. The ability to claim for a completed Carbon Audit will be delivered May to early June with the functionality to claim Soil Analysis thereafter.

Any farming or crofting business that has an active Business Reference Number and is Rural Payments and Services online registered will be able to apply to receive a standard cost payment of £500 towards having a Carbon Audit (aligned to the PAS 2050 standard) performed for their business where they do not have one already, or where the current Carbon Audit is more than 3 years old.

Before applicants can claim for the Soil Analysis and Development Payment they must confirm that they have a Carbon Audit that aligns to PAS 2050 standards.

Land managers in Scotland claiming Region 1 land on their annual SAF form will be able to claim actual cost up to a calculated maximum value for their soil sampling. With the first claim they will additionally be paid a standard cost payment to cover personal development.

YourHerdStats will be available to all Scottish Suckler beef herds generating insights, based on trends, into their herd’s performance through a series of relatable charts, tables, and key performance indicators.

If you’ve got any queries about carbon audits, soil testing and the National Test Programme, call our advice line on 0300 323 0161 or email

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