Advance payments issued to farmers in England
Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) advance payments are now being issued to farmers in England and will reach bank accounts in the coming weeks, the Rural Payments Agency has announced.
In May, Environment Secretary George Eustice announced that payments would be made in two instalments each year for the remainder of the agricultural transition period to help farmers with their cashflow.
Around 50 per cent of the overall payment will be issued from July with the remaining balance expected from December.
Paul Caldwell, Chief Executive of the Rural Payment Agency, commented: “We know that cashflow during the summer season can be concerning for many farm businesses, particularly this year due to issues exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.
“I’m pleased to confirm that we have started to make advance BPS payments to farmers, and expect to issue the majority of payments by the end of July.
“These twice-yearly instalments are a permanent change to bring BPS in line with what will be a more regular payment system under the new environment land management schemes.”
The RPA expects the large 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 be in touch with affected farmers.
Advance payments will be approximately 50 per cent of the total, and Lump Sum Exit Scheme applicants who have claimed BPS in 2022 will also receive an advance payment.
The proportionate amount of progressive reductions will be applied to both the advance and balance payments.
All farmers should make sure the RPA has their up-to-date bank account details.
Once a payment has been made, a remittance advice is sent in the post confirming the amount paid.
When the balance payment is made, from December, a claim statement will be sent to explain how the 2022 payments have been worked out.
This builds on a package of measures to support farmers announced in March, including: a delay to changes to the use of urea fertiliser by at least a year; revised and improved statutory guidance on the Farming Rules for Water; slurry investment grants to help meet those rules; and the opening of the Sustainable Farming Incentive which will ensure long-term food security by investing in the foundations of food production: healthy soil, water, and biodiverse ecosystems.
Defra has worked with more than 4,000 farmers to test and trial the new approach.