Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) advance payments will be issued to farmers on August 1, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has confirmed.

These advance payments will comprise up to 50% of the total annual BPS payment.

Once again, BPS payments are being issues in two instalments this year in an effort to help farmers with cashflow during the summer period.

Last year – the first year advance payments were made – payments started in July and concluded in August. This year the first instalment will be completed on one day.

“We recognise the importance of these payments to the rural community, which is why we listened to the sector and are making the majority of payments on one day to provide certainty to farmers,” Paul Caldwell, chief executive of the RPA, said.

“This also marks the second year of the permanent change to two payments, with the first instalment brought forward to the summer, and I’m pleased this is having a positive impact on farmers’ cashflow.”

BPS payments will continue to be made in two instalments each year for the remainder of the agricultural transition period; the remainder will be paid in December.

The RPA expects the vast majority of farmers to be paid on time, though there will be a small number of farmers whose claims will require additional checks which will take longer to process.

Farmers are being encouraged to sign into the Rural Payment service to check their details are up to date, including their email, mailing address and bank account details.  

The BPS payments are slowly being phased out during the post-Brexit agricultural transition period. They are expected to be phased out completely by the end of the agricultural transition period in 2027.