Low input farming aims to minimize off farm inputs (e.g. fertiliser and concentrate feed), and optimise on farm resources (e.g. available grazing and existing habitats), to make the farm more sustainable and profitable. This type of farming system can work well for upland farms, alongside utilising other funding streams such as environmental schemes or diversification. Research has shown that farms using this system are more likely to be profitable and be sustainable for the future (see NFFN link below).

Low input systems often use native breeds of sheep and cattle as they require less feeding and housing which reduces costs, though an adjustment to grazing patterns and management may be needed. Higher level Countryside Stewardship includes a native breed supplement, and this will be transferred to ELMs when Countryside Stewardship finishes.

See also: Schemes, Payment and Grants, Increasing Biodiversity and Regenerative Agriculture.