Basic Payment Scheme 2018: Top tips on how to apply accurately
Top tips on how to fill in your BPS form accurately.
Basic Payment Scheme 2018: Top tips on how to apply
As many prepare to complete their 2018 BPS application, Helen Gosling, farm consultant with Strutt & Parker offers the following eight top-tips aiming to help you submit an accurate application:
- Review the new Greening rules for 2018 and re-assess how you will meet your Ecological Focus Area (EFA) requirement. Measurements of EFA hedges from the new RPA hedge-layer should be verified. For eligible hedges which have not been identified, an RLE1 form is required to add these.
- Nitrogen-fixing crops and land coded as fallow will automatically be entered as an EFA. You will therefore need to remove any areas which will not qualify as an EFA, via the ‘use less EFA than available’ screen.
- We advise that you manually calculate your total EFA rather than rely on the ‘EFA area declared’ figure provided in Part D of the application summary. The multiplier applied to convert EFA nitrogen-fixing crops has increased this year from 0.7 to 1; however, the RPA greening calculator has not been updated to account for this change in weighting.
- Extensive mapping changes have been carried out by the RPA so it is imperative to check your maps carefully and make any required changes. New in 2018 is the ability to make whole parcel changes over the telephone. In addition, land can be removed online or added by email, however an RLE1 form still remains necessary for part parcel changes.
- If you leave any areas undeclared in your application, do not rely on the crop diversification checklist or EFA checklist as these will automatically state that the crop diversification and EFA rules have not been met.
- If you have a Countryside Stewardship Scheme (CSS), it is important to ensure that your ‘land- cover’ corresponds with your CSS options otherwise this will flag as an issue with Natural England. In addition, while certain CSS options can be coded under the prevailing crop code for the rest of the parcel (e.g. AB1), some CSS options need to be declared and coded separately (e.g. AB9). To avoid double funding, you must also make sure you do not declare EFA on land already accommodating CSS options. Finally, where hedges form part of your CSS agreement, an RLE1 is required if these hedges have not been identified on the new RPA hedge-layer.
- Check young farmer eligibility as the start of the 5-year young farmer payment has changed to commence from the first successful BPS application, rather than from when the young farmer first took control or set up the business.
- Download and save a PDF of the complete application straight away after submitting. This can be used as evidence to prevent mapping changes made by the RPA after the submission date affecting your application.
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