Wales’ new rural affairs minister has hinted that unpopular plans to make every farmer plant trees on their land to achieve 10% cover before they can access support payments could be revised.

It comes as the Welsh Government announced that a new Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS) Ministerial Roundtable had been established to review the agricultural support scheme.

Among the proposals it will consider is the 10% tree cover requirement for entering the scheme, one of 17 so-called universal actions.

Farmers are unhappy with this condition and many, including the president and vice-president of NFU Cymru, Aled Jones and Abi Reader, have vowed to shun the scheme if it remains.

Welsh rural affairs secretary Huw Irranca-Davies, who succeeded Lesley Griffiths in March, says he is in “listening mode’’.

In a written ministerial statement he said that while future farm support needs to deliver multiple outcomes for Wales, it “must have farmers at the heart of it.’’

He will chair the new roundtable, which will be made up of representatives of the farming unions and other stakeholders.

It will consider the responses to the most recent SFS consultation and updated economic assessments, and work to develop a revised scheme.

Mr Irranca Davies says one of the first tasks will be to look at any alternative proposals for achieving additional carbon sequestration.

“The farming unions and other stakeholders believe the scheme should look beyond the existing actions, such as additional tree planting, which this group will now consider,’’ he said.

Establishing a roundtable was one of the key asks by farming unions in recent meetings with government officials.

NFU Cymru president Mr Jones said mandating 10% tree cover had been a “clear insurmountable barrier’’ for many to access the SFS.

“I’m therefore pleased that the cabinet secretary has agreed to establish a group that will, among other things, consider alternative proposals to achieve additional carbon sequestration within the new scheme.

“We have world-class scientists on our doorstep, we need to make use of their expertise and knowledge of Welsh farming systems, our soils, our grasslands, cropping and field boundaries, to provide us with alternatives, while maintaining our productive capacity.

“The level of concern, worry and frustration in the farming community over future farm support remains palpable.’’

FUW president Ian Rickman insisted that the SFS needed far more than “touching up around the edges.’’

“It needs a radical rethink and this group must now deliver meaningful change within the timeframe presented to us.’’

Mr Rickman added: “The FUW is ready to burn the midnight oil to ensure we get to the right place before the end of the year, in order that this scheme is workable both economically and environmentally.’’

The new SFS Ministerial Roundtable will meet for the first time in May.