Get ready for 2020 Basic Payment Scheme

Published January 7th, 2020

There is still much uncertainty over Brexit and with the election only just behind us it unlikely that Defra will have time to progress any substantial changes to BPS for 2020.

“We are advising farmers to start preparing for the next application both in the office in the terms of paperwork and out on the farm in terms of meeting greening and cross compliance,” said Sarah Reece, partner at Berrys.

Those affected by flooding are still eligible for BPS if the flooding is temporary and the land still available for agricultural activity. The scheme rules say that you should return the land to agricultural use as soon as practically possible and continue to meet the scheme rules or requirements of environmental scheme agreement options on the affected land parcels.

“With regard to greening elements for the 2020 application, crop diversification rules require you to meet the minimum cropping requirements based on the area of arable land,” Sarah said.

“Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs) need to be in place (equivalent to five per cent of arable area). Different EFA features have different weighting factors for calculating EFAs.

“The RPA is now the single source of all BPS and environment payments, which has not been a smooth process, so if you have been underpaid/overpaid in the past this will be addressed by the RPA and money may be reclaimed through an unrelated CAP payment.

“Most applicants will have been paid their 2019 Basic Payment and 2019 English Claim Statements are being issued. Check these Statements carefully to ensure the payments and number of entitlements are correct. If any data is incorrect raise the issue immediately with RPA,” she added.

Sarah Reece can be contacted at the Shrewsbury office of Berrys on 01743 267068 email