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bonfire

DISPOSE OF PLASTIC WASTE CAREFULLY OR RISK HUGE FINES

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February
4

The following is a Press Release published in Farmers Weekly on 5th February 2016:

Farmers should be careful to dispose of their waste plastic in accordance with the law or risk huge fines, following the conviction of a business in Oxfordshire.

Since 2006 farmers have been required to dispose of their waste plastic through a licensed business, yet many are still illegally burying or burning waste on-farm, or unwittingly using unlicensed carriers, says Mark Webb, director of recycling firm Farm XS.

“By flouting the rules, farmers lay themselves open to fines of up to £50,000, plus legal costs,” he warns.  “In addition, they may have to cover the costs of any environmental clean-up, which could be astronomical.”

Mr Webb’s warning comes after a business in Oxfordshire was fined £20,000 plus costs for illegally storing, treating and burning waste at Chowle Farm, Faringdon.  The firm was prosecuted for operating a skip hire business illegally from the site, and allowing the disposal of large quantities of tyres.

“All farmers have a duty of care to ensure the person they give their waste to is licensed and deals with it properly,” says Mr Webb. “Make sure you see a copy of the license and receive a waste transfer note – this will be checked by farm assurance schemes.”

Farmers dealing with their own waste require a farm waste exemption, and if they are transporting it will also need a lower tier waste carriers license, adds Mr Webb.  “The Environment Agency is clamping down on unregistered waste carriers, and stopped 71 vehicles in Operation Salamandar in the South East of England in just one day last month.  Of those, 26 face possible prosecution for duty of care offences.”

Although farmers’ margins are under intense pressure right now, the cost of waste disposal does not have to be prohibitive. Farm XS charges a membership fee of less than £1/acre for an average size farm for plastic recycling, with no weight fees on top, says Mr Webb.  “Taken in context of a possible £50,000 fine – on top of the environmental damage caused by illegal activities – it’s madness for farmers to risk falling foul of the law.”

Wiltshire Agricultural Consultant

COMING SOON!

Posted by: webbpaton Tags: There is no tags | Categories: Uncategorized

January
15

The 2016 round of Farm Business Updates will be presented by WebbPaton on:

 

Monday 25th January from 6.30pm at Chippenham Golf Club

Wednesday 27th January from 6.30pm at North Wilts Golf Club near Devizes

Thursday 28th January from 10.30am at North Wilts Golf Club near Devizes

Monday 1st February at Wrag Barn Golf Club in Highworth (northwest of Swindon)

Tuesday 2nd February at Wrag Barn Golf Club

Thursday 4th February at The Wiltshire Hotel & Golf Club near Royal Wootton Bassett

A range of relevant and important topics will be covered in a fast-moving entertaining way, all followed by a hot complimentary meal.  WebbPaton agents and FarmXS people will be present to answer any questions you may have.

 

Ring the office to book your place on 01793 842055.  We look forward to seeing you there!

 

Farm Rent Review

2015 BPS PAYMENT ERRORS

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January
7

The RPA has announced that almost 51% of claimants should have now received their BPS 2015 payment.  However, there have been errors in some of the payment amounts (particularly where RLE1 forms were submitted to transfer entitlements and/or amend maps), so please check the amount carefully and contact us if you have any questions.  The RPA is intending to start posting out 2015 BPS Claim Statements to farmers from mid-January, so please send it to us to check.  If we dealt with your 2015 BPS claim, this is all part of the service we offer! 

The claims process is changing again and going online for 2016, so if we have not previously completed your BPS claim but you would like assistance this year, please contact us to register your interest.

 

WebbPaton Land Agents

2016 CROSS COMPLIANCE CHANGES

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January
7

1. SMR 7 – Cattle identification and registration

Cattle keepers must still record (in their holding register) the dam’s ear tag number for animals born on their holding. However, they no longer need to record the dam’s ear tag number for animals arriving on their holding. This changed on 6 April 2015 and is now updated in the latest guidance

2. GAEC 7c – Trees

RPA has clarified that not only fruit or nut trees in orchards, but also other trees acting as windbreaks in an orchard, vineyard, hop yard or hop garden are exempt from the 1 March to the 31 August (inclusive) cutting and trimming rules. This applies from 1 January 2016.

3. GAEC 1 – Establishment of buffer strips along watercourses

From 1 January 2017, land parcels of 2 hectares or less next to watercourses will have to comply with the need to protect watercourses against pollution and run-off from agricultural sources, by maintaining buffer strips. Therefore, for all land:

  • within 2 metres of the centre of a watercourse or field ditch
  • from the edge of the watercourse or field ditch to 1 metre on the landward side of the top of the bank

both of the following apply:

  • you must take all reasonable steps to maintain a green cover
  • you must not cultivate or apply fertilisers or pesticides.

[This change doesn’t apply to GAEC 7a – Boundaries.]

Please contact us if you need assistance with any aspect of Cross Compliance.

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CA16 FOOTPATH AND VILLAGE GREEN DEPOSITS

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January
7

WebbPaton are still busy helping landowners to submit the CA16 application forms and maps to protect their land from future rights of way or village green claims.  The deposit protects the land for 20 years and it is important to have it lodged with the Council whether or not you have existing rights of way – it protects you against new claims. Most Councils charge in the region of £280 for the first parcel of land and £68.25 for each additional parcel separated by public highway. It is worth noting that Swindon Council does not currently charge for CA16 applications, but they may add a charge in the near future, so act fast and get your CA16 application submitted if you own land within the Swindon Borough!

 

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PESTICIDE USE: ‘GRANDFATHER RIGHTS’ NO LONGER EXIST

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January
7

People born before 31st December 1964 are no longer exempt from holding a certificate of competence for using an agricultural pesticide product.  It is a legal requirement to follow the rules outlined in ‘The Plant Protection Products (Sustainable Use) Regulations 2012’.  If you do not adhere to the rules, you will also risk prosecution and a reduction in your BPS and certain Pillar II payments.  If you do not hold a certificate of competence or specified certificate, but require the application of professional pesticides to your land, you may employ a contractor or neighbouring farmer.  It would be your responsibility to check that they hold an appropriate specified certificate.

 

 

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THE WEBBPATON 2016 FARM BUSINESS UPDATE

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December
1

Christmas is coming and once again the team at WebbPaton are literally polishing up their act ready to present another round of entertaining and informative seminars in late January and early February, aimed at farmers, tenants, landowners and farm professionals.  In a packed performance we shall cover the latest news in farm business matters, ways you can maximise your property to aid cashflow, rural planning, farm diversification ideas, rents, renewables, BPS, stewardship & grants, tips on keeping within farm waste regulations, and much more.

An extra daytime date has been added to our usual schedule this year but all seminars will be followed by a hot fork meal with our compliments.  Seminars are sponsored by the AMC and Orion Farming Group.  Invitations will be sent out over New Year, places can be reserved (or for more information) either by calling us on 01793 842055, email post@webbpaton.co.uk or post the reply card contained in the invitation.

2016 dates will be:

25th January at 6.30pm at Chippenham Golf Club

27th January at 6.30pm at North Wilts Golf Club near Devizes

28th January at 10.30am at North Wilts Golf Club near Devizes

1st & 2nd February at 6.30pm at Wrag Barn Golf Club, Highworth near Swindon

4th February at 6.30pm at The Wiltshire Hotel & Golf Club near Wootton Bassett

 

We look forward to seeing you there.

Cows Buckinghamshire

Early dairy fund payments

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November
19

Farmers across the UK have started to receive their share of support payments from the EU Dairy Fund, two weeks ahead of schedule.  The flat rate payment for dairy farmers – linked to milk production – is just under 0.176 pence per litre.  The first payments have been made by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) to around 10,000 eligible farmers with the remainder to be paid throughout November and December.  In order to receive the dairy fund payment farmers must be registered on the Rural Payments system.  If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact WebbPaton or the RPA Helpline on 03000 200 301.

 

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2015 BPS Payment Rates Confirmed

Posted by: webbpaton Tags: There is no tags | Categories: Uncategorized

November
17

The BPS 2015 Entitlement Values, Greening Payment and the funding required for the National Reserve have now been confirmed by the RPA.

The BPS 2015 Entitlement Values are: €171.83 Non-SDA, €170.60 SDA Non-Moorland and €45.07 SDA Moorland

The Greening Payment (additional payment over and above the BPS entitlement value) values are €76.19 for non SDA, €75.64 SDA Non-Moorland and €19.99 SDA Moorland.

The National Reserve has required 0.75% of the Direct Payments fund.  (The exchange rate was confirmed at the end of September as being €1 = £0.73129.)

Therefore, the value for both Entitlement and the Greening Payment for Non-SDA land in 2015 equates to £181.37/ha (£73.40/acre).

 

AMC

AMC FIXED RATES

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October
20

The cost of fixed rate borrowing has fallen back recently offering an opportunity for some AMC borrowers to switch from variable rates.  The Bank of England base rate for variable loans remains at 0.5%; on Tuesday 6th October the cost of 10 year repayment money stood at 1.43%. In addition AMC will continue to charge their agreed margin to each customer. If you would like to discuss further please contact Mark Webb. 

 

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CONGRATULATIONS TO MARK WEBB – 30 YEARS SERVICE!

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October
6

Congratulations to Mark Webb, who on 30th September 2015 celebrated his 30 year work anniversary, having started working for Loveday and Loveday from 1985, before he took over alongside George Paton to become WebbPaton in 1999.  Here’s to the next 30!

 

Westmill Windfarm

FRACKING AND RENEWABLE ENERGY IN THE SOUTH WEST

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October
6

The Department of Energy and Climate Change are tendering out to investors four  Ordnance Survey Grid Squares around Wiltshire for fracking opportunities in the next bidding round.  The four areas are around Devizes, Melksham, Trowbridge and Radstock.   WebbPaton are ready to help their clients on fracking and oil / gas exploration matters. 

With the Government moving renewable subsidies away from wind and solar we are seeing renewable developers approaching clients on 2nd generation  renewable technologies these focus on STOR, Gas to Grid AD Plants, Battery Storage, and large bio digesters.    These technologies are less land hungry than solar farms but the returns are still very attractive.  The solar farms now look as if they will all have to be built in a subsidy free world from 1st April 2016, this means only solar farms which are able to export their electricity to a neighbouring factory with a massive electricity consumption will be built.  This so called private wiring means that the wholesale electricity price which is typically 4.2 to 5.2 pence per kilowatt hour can  be sold at retail prices of 7 to 10 pence per kilowatt hour.  Contact George Paton for advice on renewable energy opportunities.

 

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LET PROPERTIES – NEW LEGISLATION

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October
6

There have been several changes and additions to residential lettings legislation this Autumn:

  1. The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations   – Landlords are required to ensure that a smoke alarm is installed and in proper working order at the start of a new tenancy on each storey of the dwelling.  Landlords are also required to provide a working carbon monoxide alarm in any room which contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance (i.e. open fires/wood burning stoves).
  2. ‘How to rent: the checklist for renting in England’  – this Government guidance must be provided to new Tenants by the Landlord, otherwise a s.21 notice may not be served if the Landlord wishes to terminate the tenancy.
  3. Energy Performance Certificates – properties with an energy efficiency in Bands F and G will no longer be permitted to be let from April 2018, so Landlords may wish to start works to improve the energy efficiency of dwellings which will be re-let in the future.

Please speak to Libby Barron or Gemma Drewett for advice in relation to the new lettings legislation.

Hereforda

CROSS COMPLIANCE BREACH – LATE TB TESTING

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October
6

From 1st January 2015 Defra extended their cross compliance approach to include most types of TB tests, including enhanced cross compliance controls for overdue TB surveillance and check tests.  Penalties are applied to Basic Payment and any Rural Development Scheme payments (e.g. ELS) for late tests and are based on a percentage of the payments (usually 1-5%, depending on the severity).  WebbPaton have heard reports of tests being carried out within the deadline, but results being sent after the due date to the Animal and Plant Health Agency, resulting in cross compliance penalties.  Please ensure that your TB tests are carried out and sent in advance of the due date.  For any cross compliance breaches, please contact WebbPaton and we will advise and guide you through the appeals process.

 

Farm Rent Review

BPS – EURO EXCHANGE RATE

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October
6

The 2015 BPS Euro exchange rate has been taken from the average of the European Central Bank exchange rates set throughout September 2015 and has been set at €1 = £0.73129.  (This is lower than last year’s more favourable exchange rate of €1 = £0.77730.)

SwallowdaleSeptemberBlackro

VISIT WEBBPATON AT THE SOUTH WEST DAIRY SHOW 2015

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September
16

Visit us at the South West Dairy Show on 7th October 2015.  Our stand is in the usual place by the door, number 128 in the Edmund Rack Pavilion.  Mark Webb and George Paton will be on hand together with our other professional staff to offer you refreshments, and available to discuss any farm business matters of concern to you.  The big issues currently are renewables, Basic Payment Scheme, land development, compensation claims, valuations, rural property and tenancy options – or just come and have a cup of tea.

Catherine Elmes will also be present to offer advice regarding farm waste recycling and FarmXS, so if you think the scheme is for you or to find out more, just stop by and have a chat with her.

WebbPaton offer professional advice to the rural areas of Wiltshire, south Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Somerset.

The South West Dairy Show has become one of the most important dates in the dairy farmer’s calendar, combining a comprehensive trade show with an exhibition of top quality dairy cattle.  The show attracts over 300 trade stands from across the country and beyond  and with over 250 cattle this show is the place to be seen and visit.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Clients

RPA – ACCOUNTABLE PERSONS

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September
2

The RPA were requesting details of “accountable persons” earlier this year in order to process and issue payments for 2015 BPS claims. However, they have now confirmed that this information (your National Insurance number and the division between partners/shareholders) will not be required until next year.

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WET WEATHER AND ESTABLISHMENT OF EFA CATCH CROPS BY 31ST AUGUST

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September
2

Due to the recent wet weather, you may have difficulties establishing EFA catch crops by 31st August. Provided the RPA has not notified you of an issue or an inspection, you should be able to amend areas of catch crops to change them to EFA cover crops without penalty. Cover crops must be established by 1st October and retained until at least 15th January 2016, but the other rules are the same. Please contact us if you need to make an amendment to your BPS application.

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BPS 2015 ENTITLEMENTS TRANSFERS – CONFIRMATION NOTIFICATIONS

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September
2

We understand the RPA are starting to send confirmation notifications by email for the 2015 BPS entitlement transfers this week and plan to complete the process by the end of September. If you have sold or purchased entitlements through WebbPaton please forward the email to us [susan@webbpaton.co.uk], we will pay the seller and issue the VAT receipt (if applicable) to the buyer once we have the confirmation in writing. If you have any questions, please contact Susan Elmes or Libby Barron.

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ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP – DELAY TO 2015 PAYMENTS

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September
2

Natural England have announced that there will be a delay to the advance payments for Environmental Stewardship (ELS, OELS & HLS) agreements this year because of the ongoing processing of annual claims and cross-checking against BPS claims. Payments will start in October 2015 and the majority should be made during November and December.