The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has announced that Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) advance payments will be issued to farmers on August 1 this year. 

These payments of up to up to 50 per cent aim to provide the adequate support needed to help the summer season cash flow.

This decision to make the majority of payments on a single day is in response to industry feedback, giving certainty and convenience to farmers.

Paul Caldwell, chief executive of the Rural Payments Agency said: “We recognise the importance of these payments to the rural community, which is why we listened to the sector and are making the majority of payments on one day to provide certainty to farmers.

“This also marks the second year of the permanent change to two payments, with the first installment brought forward to the summer, and I’m pleased this is having a positive impact on farmers’ cashflow.”

In 2022, Defra declared payments for the remainder of the agricultural transition period would be divided into two installments per year.

Approximately 50 per cent of the total payment is currently being disbursed, and the remaining balance is anticipated to be paid in December.

The RPA expects the majority of farmers to be paid on time, however, there will be a small number whose claims will require further checks and will take longer to process.

The RPA will directly contact farmers who require further checks to inform them of the next steps to receive their payments.

BPS payments have been decreasing each year since 2012 as part of a phase-out plan by 2027.

Progressive reductions will be applied to both advance and balance payments.

Farmers must ensure their bank account details are current with the RPA.

After payment, a remittance notice is sent by mail to confirm the correct amount is paid.

A claim statement will be provided in December, explaining the calculation of their 2023 payments.

The government is committed to maintaining the £2.4b annual farming budget.

Funding from BPS payments will be redistributed to support the environmental land management schemes and grants for innovation, R&D and equipment.

These initiatives include 23 new actions in the sustainable Farming incentive 2023, with payments made every three months and a £20 management payment for the first 50 hectares enrolled.

A £5 million competition will also combine private investment with grant funding to drive innovation in farming and £31 million will be allocated to for Farming Equipment and Technology Fund to enhance farm productivity and environmental sustainability.

The Sustainable Farming Incentive 2023 will accept applications from August, providing farmers with an improved and streamlined process.

It offers 23 actions, including themes such as soil health and moorland, as well as new actions related to hedgerows, integrated pest management, nutrient management, farmland wildlife, buffer strips and low-input grassland.

© Land & Estates (powered by

Sign up to receive our weekly free journal, The Forum here.