Farmers Guradian
How to spot BSE and what farmers can do to prevent it

How to spot BSE and what farmers can do to prevent it



Dairy Farmer Magazine

Dairy Farmer Magazine

Auction Finder

Auction Finder

British Farming Awards

British Farming Awards



LAMMA 2020

LAMMA 2020

You are viewing your 1 free article

Register now to receive 2 free articles every 7 days or subscribe for unlimited access.

Subscribe | Register

40,000 BPS claimants used agents for 2016 applications - NFU survey

The NFU has called for a simplification of the BPS application process, after a member survey showed 46 per cent of applicants relied on agents to get their claims in.

More than 40,000 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) applicants in England, 46 per cent of claimants, paid agents an estimated £20 million to apply for their 2016 payment, an NFU survey has revealed.


This represented an increase of 10,000 and additional expenditure of £5m on the 2014 Single Payment Scheme.


The NFU responded by calling for a simpler application process and improved delivery for BPS 2017 and urged Defra to ensure the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has the necessary resource to invest in the system and administration to achieve this.


NFU Vice President Guy Smith said: "Our survey work should serve as an important reminder to the RPA that the application forms must be within farmers’ capabilities.


"It’s essential that the guidance, navigating the system itself and the administration are user-friendly.

“The basic principle of the BPS form is that it is designed for farmers to be able to complete it themselves. The fact that it has been so complex has forced many farmers to hand the form over to specialists to complete and this is unacceptable."


The NFU also estimates there are over 20,000 queries relating to mapping, field data, coding and entitlements outstanding from BPS 2015. An estimated £60m has not gone out this year because of application issues, Mr Smith said.


Mr Smith said: "Our demand of Government is to make sure the RPA have the necessary resource to sort these issues out quickly and competently. This is yet more cost on our industry at a time it can ill afford it.”


Reconciliation process



The RPA said it would investigate all claim queries through a planned payment reconciliation process once the 2016 application window closes.


Farmers who believe their payment is not correct should write into the agency so it can investigate, make any necessary adjustments and top up payments, rather than clawing back from farmers at a later date, as used to be the process.


The planned reconciliation process will involve looking at individual applications and investigating any differences in land and entitlements held.


This process begins in June and will last a number of months.


The agency said the new Rural Payments service had been designed to increase the accuracy of payments by automatically carrying out more in-depth checks than the previous system.


"By making use of satellite data, aerial photography and digital maps, we are now able to check the land being claimed under BPS matches the information held on the system," an agency spokesperson said.


"Where there is discrepancy between a claim and the information held by Rural Payments, only the amount of the claim that matches is paid out.


"Rural Payments also differs from its predecessor, the Single Payment Scheme with new requirements such as greening. That is why, this year, some farmers may see differences in their payments from last year."




In a statement, the RPS said it provided farmers and agents with an extensive range of support to help over 85,500 of them make their 2016 applications on time.


This included phone help, support centres around the country, hints and tips and well-used YouTube videos. The result was the highest proportion of claims submitted online in any one year – over 80 per cent.

June 10 deadline reminder

Farmers are reminded midnight Friday June 10, is the final deadline for 2016 BPS applications.




  • The Rural Services helpline on 03000 200 301, will open from 8.30am to 5pm on Thursday and Friday
  • Online support centres in Reading, Newcastle, Workington, Carlisle and Exeter are open from 9am to 5pm (Arrive by 4pm if visiting without an appointment)
  • Support is also available, by appointment, at RPA’s Foss House office in York between 8.30am and 5pm
  • A range of guidance videos on the RPA YouTube channel includes
    , advice on changing land use and a general overview of how to apply online
  • Step by step onscreen help is available throughout the application process and this useful guidance can also be printed off
  • A useful ‘Hints and Tips’ document is also available at GOV.UK/rpa/bps2016
  • After midnight on 10 June applications will not be accepted, except for exceptional circumstances.



  • Wales claimed to be leading the way this week with 100 per cent online CAP payment applications.
  • Cabinet Secretary for the Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said the first ‘online-only’ CAP Single Application Form had been a resounding success, with 16,252 applications received by the May 16 deadline.
  • She said Wales was leading the way in the UK as the only home nation to provide a 100 per cent digital approach to these applications.




  • In Scotland, the original SAF window for applications without late penalties was extended by a month to June 15.
  • As of 6 June, 2016 a total of 16,787 SAFs have been submitted, 12,458 (74 per cent) online and 4,329 (26 per cent) on paper.
  • The Beef Efficiency Scheme (BES) deadline is also 15 June. BES claims can be made by visiting




Post a Comment
To see comments and join in the conversation please log in.

Most Recent