“Pick For Britain”
Only a third of the seasonal pickers from oversees have arrived in the UK. To help ensure the UK fruit and vegetable harvest goes ahead, the government has launched their new website pickforbritain.org.uk. Farm businesses are being encouraged to post their job vacancies to help recruit the 80,000 seasonal agricultural workers needed. The government hopes that this could create an opportunity for furloughed workers to take a second job.
Farming And UK Food Production
A survey carried out by the NFU/Censuswide during the COVID-19 crisis has shown that 51% of UK adults surveyed thought that Britain's ability to produce its own food had become more important. This of course creates a greater oppprtunity for UK farmers and food producers - let's hope that continues.
Grants & Subsidies – Date Changes
The Government has confirmed that they have extended the Basic Payment Scheme, Countryside Stewardship Scheme and Environmental Stewardship Scheme application deadlines from the 15th May to the 15th June 2020. In addition, the period for amending your claim without penalty has been extended to 30 June 2020 with final submission of applications and claims now to be with the RPA by 10 July 2020.
The RPA has also confirmed that the deadline for transfering land parcels has been extended to 15th June 2020. That land must however still be "at the disposal" of the BPS 2020 applicant on 15th May 2020. At present, entitlements must still be transferred by 15th May 2020 for use with a BPS 2020 application.
Click on this link for the updated RPA dates map.
Basic Payment Scheme – New Electronic RLE1 form
The RPA has published a new editable RLE1 form PDF on GOV.UK. You can now edit the form electronically and submit via email to the RPA. Any handwritten RLE1 forms must not be scanned and emailed to the RPA as they will be rejected. They should be posted to the usual RPA PO Box address. Only the editable RLE1 form PDF will be accepted via email.
The Direct Payments to Farmers (Crop Diversification Derogation) (England) Regulations 2020 came into force on 1st May 2020. They formally confirm that the Crop Diversification rules do not apply in England for BPS 2020.
Bridging Payments for 2019 Stewardship Claims
The RPA has confirmed that bridging payments will be issued to Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship agreement holders who have not yet received a 2019 revenue claim payment. The payments should be 75% of the current estimated claim value and issued in May 2020.