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Hopefully readers are now adjusting to the new Basic Payment Scheme environment, with the useful A3 Rural Land Register Plans being a relic of the past and the temperamental RPA online system becoming all to familiar. With the 15th May 2018 submission deadline becoming a noticeable mark on the horizon, a brief recap and update has been provided below in preparation:

Who Can Claim

The Basic Payment Scheme is payable to individuals who own or occupy agricultural land, whilst managing said land in accordance with Cross Compliance requirements.

In order to be eligible you must meet the following criteria:

- Own or occupy more than 5ha of eligible agricultural land.

- Use the land for agricultural purposes.

- Manage and maintain the land in accordance with Cross Compliance requirements including, Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition (GAEC), as well as, Statutory Management Requirements (SMR’s). 

2018 Application Preparation

The RPA are suggesting that 2018 claims will be submitted and processed in a similar manner to that in 2017. Although there are a number of compliance and claimant eligibility changes which are due to be/ have already been implemented, which need to be considered. Particular note should be paid to SMR1 (Nitrate Vulnerable Zone boundary changes), SM7&8 (Tightening of Cattle, Sheep and Goat identification, movements and registrations) and GAEC 5 (putting practical measures in place to reduce soil erosion).

There are also a number of changes to the online RPA system with a view to create a more user friendly and practical platform. One such change includes the demarcation of potentially eligible EFA hedges.

RPA Mapping

The RPA have been updating and reviewing online mapping information, where necessary. It is vital that all land parcel and mapping details are meticulously checked for your farming business to ensure there are no RPA errors or discrepancies carried forward into your 2018 claim. 

If you are concerned with any amendments, we are more than happy to act on your behalf in rectifying these issues. 

Payment Discrepancies

We have noticed a number of RPA fines being incorrectly implemented for greening and over declaration discrepancies. Please refer to previous years claim statements to ensure you have not been effected by such fines. If there are any issues we can certainly be of assistance and submit the necessary claim query forms.

Recap and Key Points

- Register all agricultural/forestry land occupied by your farming business online with the RPA. 

-Check any RPA mapping amendments are accurate.

- Calculate your total eligible area and ensure this correlates with your number of owned entitlements.

-Be sure to confirm the correct land use codes

-Make sure greening requirements are met and a suitable buffer is provided to account for minor land use and area amendments. 

-Submit your BP5 application form by 15th May 2018.

Please do not hesitate to contact William Fraser or Dan Page should you require assistance with your Basic Payment Scheme.