The provisional details for ‘greening’ under the Basic Payment Scheme (which starts in January 2015) are now clearer, although we are awaiting further announcements and the detail is subject to change.
There will be three strands to greening, as follows: 1. Permanent Pasture.
2. Crop Diversification – if you have more than 30 hectares of arable land you must grow at least three crops, with the largest not taking more than 75% of the area and the smallest at least 5%. If you farm between 10-30 hectares you are required to grow at least two crops, of which the smallest must be at least 5% of the area.
3. Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs) – if you have more than 15 hectares of arable land you are required to devote the equivalent of 5% of your arable land to EFAs. There are six EFA options including hedgerows adjacent to arable land, fallow land, buffer strips next to a watercourse, nitrogen fixing crops, catch crops and cover crops.
How can WebbPaton help? If you need advice on how you can meet the greening rules and whether you need to amend or terminate your ELS agreement, please contact us and we will be happy to help.
The RPA will shortly be contacting all claimants who are registered on its systems regarding Identity Assurance (IDA). As part of the CAP Reform, all Basic Payment Scheme claims will have to be completed online from 2015 onwards.
Each signatory to the farming business who wishes to claim payments in future years will have to create a new IDA account, even if an Agent is already authorised for SPS on your behalf. This replaces the Government Gateway, and all the old SPS Online log-ins will no longer be valid. IDA accounts will be used across all Government systems in the future, for example to view your driving record or tax details. Third party providers such as the Post Office or Experian will have the job of verifying IDAs.
WebbPaton will be providing the opportunity for all current and new BPS clients to drop into the office for assistance with completing the IDA process once the system is up and running. If you would like to register as a new BPS client, please contact us and we will notify you when the IDA system is running.
There have been a number of changes in the personnel in the local agricultural banking sector recently. In contrast AMC has not changed. The AMC is very much open for business and keen to look at requests for secured borrowing, indeed at the moment they have funds discounted by 0.8% available to support infrastructure improvement projects eg new grain stores, dairy units etc.
If you would like to know more about borrowing from the AMC please call Mark Webb on 01793 842055.
George Paton along with WebbPaton clients Philip Greenhill and Angela Livall feature on Thrings TV on a feature on solar farms. Lawyer, Catherine Stickland of Thrings presents this fly through on what to expect when you enter into an agreement with a solar developer. CLICK HERE to learn more about solar farms vimeo.com/105361828