The Rural Payments Agency has begun to issue the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) advance payments.
In 2022, Defra announced that payments would be made in two instalments each year for the remainder of the agricultural transition period. Around 50% of the overall payment is being made now with the remaining balance expected from December.
Payments are up to 50% of the total annual BPS payment and will hopefully help farmers impacted by price rises throughout the industry with their summer season cash flow.
The RPA expects the vast majority of farmers to be paid on time, though there will be a small number of farmers whose claims will require additional checks which will take longer to process. The RPA will contact these customers to inform them of the next steps while maximising the number of farmers receiving their advance payment by the end of August.
Since 2021, BPS payments have been reducing each year as they are phased out completely by the end of the agricultural transition period in 2027. This is a process known as progressive reductions and was introduced to manage the transition from
Direct Payments as smoothly as possible. The proportionate amount of progressive reductions will be applied to both the advance and balance payments.
All farmers should make sure the RPA has their up-to-date bank account details. Once a payment has been made, a remittance notice is sent in the post confirming the amount paid. When the balance payment is made in December, a claim statement will be sent to explain how the 2023 payments have been worked out. See: Advance BPS payments to be issued to farmers – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)