There is considerable unease in Yorkshire among some who work in agriculture that just two of 46 trial proposals by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs of new payments to reward the delivery of “public goods” are to be led by farmers; as well as worries about the absence of long-term guarantees about the future of the new system and a lack of firm definitions about precisely what work will be eligible for funding.
Of course, the purpose of such trials is to identify difficulties and firm up policies, while the final scheme is proposed to be phased in over seven years until widespread adoption in 2028.
But given the extent of concerns about the potential impact of a badly-handled Brexit among the farming community - with officials in Wales warning this week that there could be ‘civil unrest’ in rural communities should a no-deal exit decimate their livelihoods by affecting their ability to sell produce to Europe - any worries about the trials system should be addressed as a priority.
A central tenet of the Leave campaign in 2016 - led by the new Prime Minister Boris Johnson - was the promise that departing the EU offered an opportunity for people to take back control.
That is exactly what should happen in this case where farmers currently feel they have a lack of involvement in a process with massive ramifications for their work in years to come.