Checklist for 2019 BPS Applications

12th March 2019

As we see the 2019 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) application window open this week, Mark Barrow, Associate and Chartered Surveyor from H&H Land and Property, offers some welcome advice on what farmers need to consider:

“First and foremost, let’s reflect on 2018 and outstanding payments as this remains an ongoing issue for many farmers. In fact, 3,400 claimants as of Mid-Feb are still to receive their 2018 payment. If these payments are not made by the end of March, a bridging payment is to be made in April. This will be welcome news for those farmers not in receipt of their payment.

“1,500 historic queries/complaints are still being dealt with by RPA, and this should be considered when submitting your 2019 claim.  Our advice would be to claim correctly and justify any errors to the pre-populated RPA figures with appropriate correspondence and photographic evidence.

“Now looking ahead and to the 2019 claim form, there are some further key areas that need consideration when completing the application:

  • 2018 claim statements have been produced/released and it’s important to check this before you submit your 2019 forms for any incorrect penalties or deductions due to incorrect mapping changes.
  • 20% of field parcels have been remapped – so make sure these changes are true and accurate – otherwise it could affect your payment and may result in unnecessary delays for the 2019 claim.
  • Satellite re-mapping is now an annual exercise rather than the previous EU policy of 1 in 3 years. However, current RPA mapping changes should now have ceased until after the 2019 claim submission, so this will not impact the application process.
  • Online transfer of field parcels and entitlements is now available. Remember, it’s important to transfer in/out any bought or sold land.
  • There is no longer an active farmer test to consider.
  • You can no longer overlap BPS greening with Countryside Stewardship options.
  • If you do intend to submit a Countryside Stewardship application with hedge options, they need marking on your RPA maps to prevent future delays.
  • You cannot use HLS areas for greening where the HLS has been extended.
  • The RPA system is open to submit claims from 13th March – 15th May 2019.

“There’s a lot to consider, and some simple adjustments to how you approach your payment applications can make a significant difference to your funding and payment timing. When meeting your agent to discuss the BPS claim, it’s worth enquiring about available grants, as application and pack request deadlines are not too dissimilar (Hedge and Boundary 3rd May, ordering packs for Countryside Stewardship and Catchment Sensitive Farmer Officer Visits are the 31st May.”

If you would like further guidance on your BPS application, or any other rural payments scheme, please contact Mark Barrow on 01539 721375 or at mark.barrow@hhland.co.uk in the Kendal Office, or contact Craig Brough in the Carlisle Office  or at craig.brough@hhland.co.uk or on 01228 406260, or contact Tim Sedgewick in the Durham Office or at tim.sedgewick@hhland.co.uk