Dorset farmers have expressed their concerns about the government's approach to agricultural policy post-Brexit.

The government plans to transition away from the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to their new "environmental land management system" (Elms) after the UK leaves the EU.

The new system, the pilot of which is due to begin in 2021, will aim to give subsidy payments to farmers delivering environmental benefits.

Farming Minister Robert Goodwill said: "After years of inefficient, unfair and outdated policy under the CAP, our ambitious plans for a new land management system will unlock the potential for farmers and land managers to deliver environmental benefits that go hand in hand with a profitable, productive business.

"We do not under-estimate the scale of the task in implementing the new environmental land management (Elm) scheme, which is why we are involving such a wide range of stakeholders in its development.

"We will be running a national pilot over three years to test the policy and make sure we get it right, implementing the lessons learnt into the final scheme."

However, concerns have been expressed over the lack of time the government is providing farmers to plan to implement the new scheme.

David George, Regional Communications Advisor for South West NFU, said: "There is a very big change is on the way and we need to make sure that robust systems are in place for whatever replaces the CAP.

"Despite Mr Goodwill’s assurances that Defra has this in hand, the current round of countryside stewardship schemes have been dogged with payment problems, which has done nothing to inspire confidence. So farmers will take his remarks with a large pinch of salt."

Mike Watkins, Dorset County Chairman for the NFU, criticised the government over lack of clarity with the situation.

He said: "The government are not giving us any detail or any idea what the hell is happening. We can't plan, we can't budget, we can't know what prices we are going to get.

"The government needs to make a decision - are we out or in?"