Food For Thought September 2016

S E P T E M B E R 2016 FOOD FOR THOUGHT? W H AT W I L L BREXIT MEAN FOR RURAL BUSINESSES? Like it or loathe it, Brexit is now part of our day to day lives and here at GSC Grays we intend to keep you regularly updated on current issues influencing the industry and key points to be aware of in a postBrexit environment, if you are considering any major business decisions. GUY CO G G R AV E M a na gin g Direc to r Tel: 0183 3 694939 LU C I N D A RIDDELL Direc to r Tel: 0174 8 829210 PHIL S COT T - P R I E S T L E Y Direc to r BASIC PAYMENT SCHEME (BPS) UPDATE – AUGUST 2016 We are now thinking about 2017 BPS claims as harvest nears an end and farmers are planning their 2016/2017 cropping. Unfortunately, some claimants are still waiting to hear back from the RPA in respect of payment queries for 2015 and land and entitlement transfers from 2015 and 2016 claims. It would appear that the RPA are in turmoil and cannot provide answers when they are contacted to find out what is happening. This is now causing delays in respect of transferring land and entitlements for the 2017 claim, as this facility is now not available on line and people are cautious to use paper RLE 1 forms when there is an outstanding transfer or query. GREENING REQUIREMENT As the European Commission have not confirmed the BPS greening rules that will apply for the 2017 claim year, the RPA cannot publish full guidance. This is anticipated to be available in early 2017. Therefore, the 2016 BPS guidance still needs to be used, but the following potential changes to the rules are being discussed: • A compulsory ban on the use of pesticides on EFA NFCs • Increasing the minimum period of for EFA fallow from the current 6 months to 9 months • Increasing the minimum duration of an EFA catch or cover crop to be in the ground to 10 weeks • Increasing the minimum width of an EFA buffer strip from 1 metre to 2 metres DEFRA recognises that farmers are already committed to cropping plans for 2017 and any changes for the 2017 claims would be impractical. Further meetings are being held in Brussels and we await further updates. It looks unlikely that the EFA area requirement will increase from 5% to 7%. Te l: 017 48 829210 CHRIS THYER S e nior S u r veyo r Tel: 0183 3 694935 TO M RICHARDSON S e nior S u r veyo r Te l: 0191 3851737 T H E L A N D & P R O P E R T Y 2015 PAYMENT ISSUES The RPA have announced that the majority of 2015 claimants have now been paid in full or have received a bridging payment. This should have been followed up by the RPA sending out a claim statement to the claimant. Unfortunately, the RPA cannot provide a parcel by parcel breakdown on the BPS claim statements as they did on the SPS claim statements, which made it a lot easier to check and spot any errors. The new BPS system does not allow the RPA to breakdown this information and this is being looked into. Common land claimants have experienced the usual issues and delay in payments, resulting in a bridging payment being made that excludes their payment relating to their common land allocation. Again, The RPA are working through these and the glitches in the new system relating to common land allocation. Those claimants who have raised an issue with the RPA in respect of an over or underpayment should have now received an acknowledgement from the RPA stating S P E C I A L I S T S . . . W W W G S CG R AYS CO U K