The 2022 farm payment dates in Scotland are to be brought forward to September 19, subject to approval of the Scottish Parliament, Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon has said today (Thursday, June 16).

This means, if approved, farmers and crofters will see their advance Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and Greening payments issue almost a whole month earlier from the original planned date of October 16.

The decision to bring the payments forward is an effort to help farmers with cashflow and the cost-of-living crisis, and follows a request from farming groups in Scotland to relieve immediate inflationary pressures and protect jobs in the food and drink sector.

“Given the sharp rise in energy, fuel and fertiliser costs in recent months, I am acutely aware that businesses across Scotland are facing a hugely challenging increase in their bills," said Secretary Gougeon.

“This is compounding the challenging operating environment caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the hard Brexit imposed on Scotland by the UK Government, which has inflicted significant and lasting damage on our world class food and drink industries, rural and coastal communities.

“That is why I have listened to the representations from the farming and crofting community and will bring forward the advance payment start date to as early in the year as is practicably possible.

"The intention is to support businesses, as far as possible, with immediate cashflow challenges.

“While the start date of payments may change, the target remains the same - to pay over 70% anticipated expenditure by end December 2022 and 95.24% anticipated expenditure by end February 2023.”