Down payments made to farmers
Advance payments from the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) are now being paid to farmers and will reach bank accounts in the coming weeks, the Rural Payments Agency announced today (19 July).
In May, Environment Secretary George Eustice announced that payments would be made in two installments each year for the remainder of the farm transition period to help farmers with their cash flow. Approximately 50% of the overall payment will be made from July, with the remaining balance expected from December.
Paul Caldwell, chief executive of the Rural Payments Agency, said:
We know that cash flow during the summer season can be a concern for many agricultural businesses, especially this year due to issues exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. I am pleased to confirm that we have started issuing BPS advance payments to farmers and expect to issue the majority of payments by the end of July.
These semi-annual payments are a permanent change to align the BPS with what will be a more regular payment system under the new environmental land management regimes.
The RPA expects the vast majority of farmers to receive their BPS advance in the coming weeks. A small number of claims will require additional checks, which will take longer to process. The Agency will contact affected farmers.
Advance payments will be approximately 50% of the total, and lump sum exit program applicants who claimed BPS in 2022 will also receive an advance payment.
The proportional amount of progressive reductions will be applied to both deposits and balances.
All farmers should ensure that the RPA has their up-to-date bank details. Once payment has been made, a payment notice is mailed confirming the amount paid. When paying the balance, from December onwards, a statement will be sent to explain how the 2022 payments were calculated.
This builds on a package of support measures for farmers announced in March, including:
- A period of at least one year to modify the use of urea-based fertilizers;
- Revised and improved statutory guidance on agricultural rules for water;
- Manure investment subsidies to help comply with these rules;
- Opening up the incentive for sustainable agriculture that will ensure long-term food security by investing in the foundations of food production: healthy soils, water and biodiverse ecosystems. Defra has worked with over 4,000 farmers to test and test the new approach.
- Farmers are encouraged to log into the Rural Payments service to verify that their contact details are up to date in the Rural Payments service, including email address, postal address and bank details.
- Be aware of fraud, as fraudsters can target farmers who receive subsidies. Find out how to avoid fraud by going to www.gov.uk and searching for ‘RPA fraud information’.
- RPA can be contacted at the following email address: [email protected]; and telephone number: 03000 200 301 (Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.).