63 per cent of eligible farmers receive BPS payments in early December

With the first payment window now passed in early December, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has now confirmed that more than 54,000 farmers in England have been paid their 2017 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) funding.

The RPA’s figures indicate that around 63 per cent of eligible claimants received their BPS cash between 1 and 6 December.

The RPA has said the value of payments made so far amounts to £850 million, which is about half the total BPS pot for England, according to the NFU.

The RPA has said that at least 90 per cent of claimants – approximately 78,300 out of a total of about 87,000 – should receive their payment by 31 December 2017, with the payment window closing by 30 June 2018.

RPA chief executive Paul Caldwell said: “We are making strong progress against last year’s performance and remain focused on getting remaining payments out as quickly as possible, as I understand how important they are for farmers.”

Average payments this year are worth 25 per cent more than they were in 2016, as a result of increased entitlement values and greening rates, coupled with the favourable BPS exchange rates due to the weakened pound.

The RPA has confirmed that it remains focused on processing payments as quickly as possible.