NFU vice president Guy Smith said it was more likely only about 50 per cent of the total fund had been paid out.
Farmers across the country have warned they are sceptical about the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) suggestion more than 63 per cent of Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) claimants have been paid between December 1 and 6.
The figures suggested the RPA was well over halfway through its promise to deliver at least 90 per cent of claimants before the end of the month, with more than 54,000 farmers having received their money in the first four days of the payment window.
Whilst NFU vice president Guy Smith said he was certain the statistic was not made up, he said it ‘can feel different on the ground’.
Mr Smith said: “The RPA have announced 63 per cent of BPS claimants have now been paid with £850million but a big chunk of those went out yesterday, so I urge members to check bank accounts.
“It is worth noting we reckon that is only 50 per cent of the total fund to go out because they tend to pay smaller claimants first.
“It is a good start but we want to see over 90 per cent of claimants, and over 90 per cent of the fund, paid by December 31. We will continue to hold the RPA to its promise.”
He added the union was also calling for bridging payments for the five to ten percent not paid by the end of the month or ‘as soon as possible’ so they can plan accordingly.
Farmers were quick to respond with worries it could be a repeat of the 2016 payment with others saying they had received ‘not a bean’.
Another said: “Rainbow over the farm this morning, but I cannot find the pot of gold or BPS payment in my account.”
Checking every hour #still-waiting— John Collen (@ukeastcoast)
Show of hands at AHDB meeting last night...one farmer received out of about 20.— Jenny Dunstan (@JennysBeef)
Show of hands at AHDB meeting last night...one farmer received out of about 20.— Jenny Dunstan (@JennysBeef) December 8, 2017
According to Defra, basic payments will be worth 25 per cent more on average this year compared to 2015, thanks to increased entitlement values and greening rates alongside a favourable BPS exchange rate.
RPA chief executive Paul Caldwell said: “I am pleased that the RPA has paid a similar number of farmers to last year at the start of the 2017 payment window.
“I understand entirely the importance of timely payments, and we remain focussed on getting the rest of the payments out as quickly as possible.”