Basic Payment Scheme Update
‘BPS Remains in Place for the Foreseeable Future’
Latest figures suggest that 91% of claimants have now received the required 2017 BPS payment. From speaking to claimants, it would appear those that have not received payments to date, have had ongoing alterations from previous BPS claims submitted, with the majority of the issues surrounding land parcel changes. With regards to payments, as ever, please ensure you have rigorously checked the payment you have received, as underpayments occur more often than one would think.
With regards to the 2018 claim application, there are a number of changes that the RPA have put in place relating to ‘Greening Rules’. The significant change that will affect a large proportion of arable enterprises is a complete ban on the use of Plant Protection Products on Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs), Fallow Land, EFA Catch and Cover Crops and EFA Nitrogen-fixing Crops. The ban applies from the time of sowing the crop and also to seed dressings. Other changes made by the RPA relate to hedgerows and the option to use lines of trees as an EFA option, together with field margins now being included in the definition of EFA field buffer strips.
Moving forward, Mr Gove, in his Oxford Farming Conference speech at the start of January, has implemented a certain amount of confidence for farm enterprises and future farm planning. It is understood the Basic Payment Scheme will continue as it currently stands until 2019 and further BPS payments will continue throughout the Brexit transition period, which could last up until the year 2024. We obviously have no written confirmation that BPS going forward will remain the same in all aspects, but at least we have acknowledgement that funding will be available for farmers for perhaps the next 7 years.
Entitlement trading has now begun for the 2018 claim year and my colleague, Caroline Squire, is busy receiving calls relating to entitlement trading. We recommend making sure that you have enough entitlements to cover the eligible area you are claiming and, alternatively, if you have any surplus entitlements we recommend you get in contact with us to put them on the market. English Non SDA Entitlements are trading around the £150/ ha.
Here at Kivells we undertake BPS applications for over 500 clients throughout the South West region and have the expertise and knowledge to advise on a number of different matters relating to BPS. Whether you require land or entitlements to be transferred, greening calculations to be carried out, BPS applications to be submitted or surplus entitlements to be sold, please get in touch whereby one of the professional team will be more than happy to assist.