Support at Last for Farmers28th June 2019
As Payments are Announced by Defra, Now is the Time to Check the Finer Details.
Good news has arrived from Defra to farmers who are still waiting to receive their Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship Payments from Defra.
Last week, Defra confirmed to farmers by email that payments will be made to all agreement holders who are eligible for Countryside Stewardship (CS) and Environmental Stewardship (ES) payments on revenue claims made between 2015 and 2018.
With that in mind, David Morley, Head of Conservation and Environment for H&H Land and Property, urges farmers to check through paperwork and ensure all details and payments are accurate:
“For those who have not received full payment on one or more CS and ES revenue claims that were made between 2015 and 2018, Defra will make a manual payment via Treasury funds by the end of July. They will make single combined payments to farmers of the estimated amount of all outstanding CS and ES revenue claims. However, this will be minus payments that farmers have already received, including bridging payments, and any deductions or outstanding debts will be shown on the remittance advice.
“The payment calculation will be based on the data Defra currently have and it, therefore, may not take account of any outstanding queries about your claims. So, in advance of the payment/s, it is imperative that farmers check what they believe they are due, so they can be sure that the amount they receive is correct. It is also critical that claimants check the RPA holds the right bank account details and contact information.
“Once the payment has been made, Defra will continue to process your claim to completion. At this stage, if they find a claimant has been underpaid, they will issue a top-up payment. If they believe a claimant has been overpaid, the difference in value will be recovered either from future CAP payments or, if this is not possible, the claimant will be asked to repay the difference.
“Rather than taking the estimated payment in July, Defra believe some may prefer to wait to receive their CS or ES payment until the claim has been fully processed. If this is the case, you will need to call them within 7 days of receipt of their email. If you want to receive payment, there is no need to contact Defra – they will contact you if they need any more information.
“This announcement is very welcome, if long overdue,” concludes David. “These payments are critical for many farming businesses. Farmers have been continuing to deliver environmental benefits without being paid for too long. The hope is that the payments announcement will be made in July as promised and will be correct first time.”