Rural Payments Agency opens window for farm payments for 2021

The Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) application window has opened today (Thursday, March 18) for farmers to claim for their 2021 payments.

The claim window for customers with existing Countryside Stewardship (CS) and Environmental Stewardship (ES) revenue agreements has also opened today.

Farmers are being encouraged to apply as soon as they are able, to ensure applications are submitted ahead of the deadline of May 17.

All applicants can quickly update their personal and business information by applying through the Rural Payments service, where farmers and their agents can also view and transfer their entitlements and land parcels.

Simplified BPS

A number of simplifications have been made to the Basic Payment Scheme this year, in order to reduce the burden on farmers as they focus on transitioning to the new system.

This includes important changes to cross-compliance, such as an increased use of warning letters and offers of advice over farmers receiving a penalty as the default response to a breach of the rules.

It was also announced earlier in 2020 that the greening requirements for BPS customers, which were “complicated and historically delivered little for the environment”, would be removed in 2021.

Rural Payments Agency chief executive Paul Caldwell said:

“I know how important cashflow is to rural and farming businesses.

We will continue our commitment to ensuring timely payments to farmers and land managers but would urge you not to leave things until the last minute.

“We will continue to build on our recent performance while preparing ourselves to supporting farmers across the country as we move towards a greener future,” he concluded.