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Rural Payments Agency confirms entitlement values for Basic Payment Scheme 2015

blue sky fieldThe Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has confirmed the entitlement values, including those for greening, that will now be used to calculate farmers’ 2015 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payments.

The following has been reproduced from the website and explains entitlement values, Greening Rates, the National Reserve and the Young Farmer payment.  Further guidance can also be viewed here.

Entitlement Values

Under the BPS scheme, farmers need to hold an entitlement for every hectare of eligible land they are claiming on. The size of farmers’ payments will depend on how many entitlements they use, supported by eligible land and the value of those entitlements.

Entitlement values are:


€ 171.83 for non-SDA (Severely Disadvantaged Areas)

€ 170.60 for upland SDA, other than moorland

€ 45.07 for upland SDA moorland

Greening Rates

Farmers must also meet new greening rules to receive additional funding. The greening part of payments will be calculated by taking the number of entitlements that they have used with eligible land to claim payment and multiplying it by the greening value.

The greening rates are:

€ 76.19 for non-SDA (Severely Disadvantaged Areas)

€ 75.64 for upland SDA, other than moorland

€ 19.99 for upland SDA moorland

The exchange rate that will be applied is €1 = £0.73129

National Reserve

The scheme’s National Reserve – used to fund additional entitlements for the Young and New Farmers – has been set at 0.75%. The RPA will soon be contacting anyone who has applied for entitlements from the National Reserve to confirm if their application has been successful.

Young Farmer Payment

Eligible Young Farmers, who applied, will receive an additional payment equivalent to a quarter of their entitlement value. The RPA remains on track to make full BPS payments as early as possible in the payment window with the majority before the end of December and the vast majority by the end of January 2016.The BPS payment window opens in December and closes in June 2016.

For assistance or information please contact Laura Gaydon, Associate Partner in our Shipston on Stour office.

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Active Farmer Status – Basic Payment Scheme

tractor in field‘Active Farmer Status’ is a new criteria that we are all becoming more familiar with as updates are published and as we approach the 15th May deadline.  This requirement will affect farmers who have claimed over 5,000 euros for SPS 2014 (£3,850 GB Sterling).

The rules for Active Farmer status have recently been confirmed and updated by DEFRA.  Many will be aware from our previous posts and seminars, the EU have decided to create five “undeserving” categories to limit claimants.  These five categories are as follows:-

·     Airports

·      Railways

·      Water companies

·      Real Estate Services

·      Permanent Sport or Recreational facilities

Airports and railways are only likely to be caught if they are running scheduled services for the public.  Water companies are only affected if they are one of the 27 designated companies.  The last two are more likely categories which may find some farmers “undeserving”.

blue sky fieldThe definition of a ‘Permanent Sport or Recreational Ground’ was confirmed in the October update from DEFRA to include grounds that are dedicated and kept throughout the year for sporting or recreational use, or grounds that include one or more permanent structures used so people can take part in a sport or recreation (or spectators).

Real estate services refer to professional property developers, real estate agencies, natural or legal persons managing real estate on a fee or contract basis.
BPSIf you are found to be “operating” such an activity, you may be considered “undeserving” of Basic Payment.  The definition of “operating” under the Active Farmer rule means to make decisions on how the non-agricultural activities of the business function, therefore a farmer may be considered the operator of an activity although it does not take place on his land.  In practise an Active Farmer may work for a Company operating a non-agricultural activity such as a Real Estate Service, however, it will be the Company that is operating not the individual.

There remains opportunity for anyone carrying out one of the five non-agricultural activities to ensure they remain eligible to make a claim in 2015 and thereafter.  The first of the readmission criteria is that annual payments for SPS or BPS (including the greening payment and any young farmer payment) are at least 5% of the total non-agricultural receipts in the most recent financial year.  The second readmission test has recently been updated so that if total agricultural receipts are at least 40% of the total receipts in the most recent financial year (this is increased from 15% as previously stated) the claimant will be readmitted into the scheme.  The third criteria, which will bring much relief to all farmers who have been at risk, states that if a claimant has at least 36 hectares of eligible land they will requalify for the Basic Payment Scheme.

Sheldon Bosley January 2015 BPS Workshop inviteThe consequence of the latest changes seem to allow readmission of almost all of the previously “undeserving” applicants, to the extent that there seems little point having the ‘Active Farmer’ test at all.  It is often difficult to fathom the basis of many EU regulations, the Basic Payment Scheme being no different.

Good Luck to all seeking to claim Basic Payment in this first year of the scheme.  For any who need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the Sheldon Bosley team or come along to our Workshop on January 21st.


Ted Beale

Rural Surveyor

Stratford upon Avon

01789 292310


Sally Pentreath

Rural Advisor


01608 661666