Extra month to claim for farm payments

Farmers and land managers will now have until 15 June to apply for BPS payments and to claim funding for their environmental and woodland work under other schemes.

The Government has confirmed the window to submit applications for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and make a claim for Countryside Stewardship (CS), Environmental Stewardship (ES) and woodland legacy revenue payments will be extended by one month.

In light of the disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak, farmers and land managers will now have until 15 June to submit their applications without penalty. This will give farmers and their agents an extra month to submit applications and claims, helping them to avoid penalties for late applications. 

Farmers and land managers are still encouraged to submit claims and applications, in particular online for BPS and CS through the Rural Payments Service, as soon as they are able to, with a large number already received by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).

The RPA will continue to monitor the situation carefully and consider if further measures are needed to support farmers. Applications for new CS Higher Tier and Mid Tier agreements are still being accepted ahead of their respective deadlines of 1 May and 31 July 2020.

RPA Chief Executive Paul Caldwell said:
“We’re fully focused on making vital payments to the rural community and helping customers submit their claims and applications during this difficult time.

“We know the coronavirus is causing issues where farmers are unable to meet their agents, so we are making this extension to allow more time for the farming community to submit their applications and claims without penalty.

“I would urge farmers and their agents to complete their applications and claims as soon as they are able to, using the Rural Payments Service in the first instance.”

In addition the period for amending your claim without penalty has also been extended to 30 June 2020 with final submission of applications and claims now to be with the RPA by 10 July 2020.

All applicants can quickly update their personal and business information and apply or claim through the Rural Payments Service, where farmers and their agents can also view and transfer their entitlements and land parcels.

Natural England and Forestry Commission staff are continuing to provide advice by phone or video call for land managers developing Higher Tier applications in time for the 1 May application deadline, so that schemes can be progressed in the absence of a site visit.

Natural England will also be supporting Mid Tier applicants through an off-farm advice programme whereby applicants can contact an adviser and book a clinic session. Applicants will receive advice on the options most appropriate to their holding and top tips on ensuring applications are correct.


Bridging payments to give cash injection for stewardship customers

Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship claimants will be offered bridging payments for the 2019 claim year.

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has confirmed today that farmers and land managers will be offered bridging payments for unpaid claims on their stewardship agreements.
The interest-free loans will cover Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship 2019 payments to ensure farmers and land managers are paid for the important work they do to protect the environment.
Eligible claimants will receive a payment in May for 75% of the current estimated value of their claims to help with farm business cash flow while the remaining processing is completed on their claims.
This builds on the announcement made yesterday to extend the claim window for 2020 as part of a suite of measures the RPA is undertaking to help rural businesses affected by coronavirus.
RPA Chief Executive Paul Caldwell said:
“We are committed to driving up performance on the Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship schemes, but these bridging payments will help to tide farmers and land managers over in May before their claims are paid.
“We know this is a difficult time for farmers and rural businesses, and our focus remains on processing the remaining claims so they can be paid as quickly as possible.”
A bridging payment is an interest-free loan to customers ahead of their full payment, providing them with 75% of the current estimated value of their claim. Once the full payment has been processed and made, the amount already issued through a bridging payment will be held back.
As the vast majority (99%) of Basic Payment Scheme claims have already been paid in full to customers, the RPA will not be making bridging payments to BPS customers this year. The RPA is working quickly to resolve the few outstanding applications where payment is due.
The RPA will be writing directly to farmers and land managers to provide an update on bridging payments and on how these payments will be calculated.


Vigilance against fraud

In these challenging times, people need to remain vigilant against fraudsters will try to take advantage.
We will not call you or send you emails or texts asking you to confirm your personal details or payment information.

  • Never discuss your bank account details with someone you do not know
  • We will not ask you to make a payment over the phone
  • Delete any emails or texts you do not believe are genuine
  • Do not open any links unless from our main email addresses:
  • Be cautious about what information you share externally, particularly on social media

If you suspect an attempted fraud or feel you have been the subject of fraud, you can contact RPA’s Fraud Referral Team on 0800 347 347 or [email protected]