BPS payments projected to be roughly similar to 2017

Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payments from Brussels are set to remain approximately the same this year as in 2017, according to property consultancy firm Strutt & Parker.

Under the rules of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), support payments for farmers across the UK are set in euros.

These are then converted to sterling using the average European Central Bank (ECB) exchange rate recorded across the month of September, according to the company.

From September 1 to 24 inclusive, the average rate has been £0.89338, with rates fluctuating between £0.90328, as seen on September 5, and £0.88590, recorded on September 20.

This suggests a final 2018 conversion rate very similar to last year when the rate was €1 = £0.89470.

The value of BPS payments for a 200ha lowland (non-SDA) farm in England – including greening and after Financial Discipline has been applied – are given by Strutt & Parker.

The figures are as follows:
  • 2017 – £227.88/ha;
  • 2016 – £212.81/ha;
  • 2015 – £178.95/ha.

George Chichester, farming consultant at Strutt & Parker, said: “We will have to wait until September 28 for final confirmation of the exchange rate that will be used to set payments and it is always possible that things could change.

“The exact value of entitlements for 2018 will also not be confirmed until November, as it is based on the total number of hectares of eligible land claimed for in each region.

“However, at this stage, farmers look set to receive payments in line with last year.

Looking forward, DEFRA has made clear that the 2019 Basic Payment will be paid in the same way as in 2018.

“In 2020, the payment will come from the UK government and will be subject to minor changes of simplification.

“Thereafter payments will fall and ultimately disappear altogether, with this likely to be phased over six years to 2027,” Chichester noted.