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Ask the BPS Expert

25th March 2021

Have you picked up your copy of this month’s Shropshire Star ‘The Farmer’ supplement?
This month’s ‘Ask the Expert Column’ is written by Clare Williams our Basic Payment Scheme expert. Clare is asked what is the future for farm subsidies in England and Wales. 
Here’s Clare’s response.

What is the Future of Farm Subsidies?

England: In 2021 you will no longer need to provide Crop Diversification or Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs) and the way payments are made to cross-border farmers has changed so you won’t be waiting for your money as long, but essentially most of the scheme is otherwise the same. From 2022 onwards BPS payments will reduce each year and by 2024 you will be receiving between 50% and 75% less than your 2021 BPS claim. After 2024 payments will be de-linked from the number of hectares you claim on and will continue to reduce. Other schemes such as the Sustainable Farming Incentive, Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery will be brought in, along with a new Institute of Agriculture and Horticulture to provide support and training.

Wales: Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs) will still need to be provided in 2021, but you will no longer need to meet Crop Diversification rules. You’ll also receive an Advance Payment in October of around 70% of your expected total claim. 2022 looks as if it will continue the same “subject to funding”, and 2023 remains uncertain and will be dependent on the Senedd Election outcome. The new Sustainable Farming Scheme is currently under consultation and will enter a co-design phase later in winter 2021/2022, which will then be followed by testing of schemes on pilot farms. So far we know there will be an advisory service to help farmers transition, no retirement package and no standalone organic scheme. Full transition will start from 2024 but it’s unknown how long it will take. The 2021 Senedd election will impact future schemes so make sure you ask your local Senedd Candidate what their agricultural party polices are before making your vote and we’d advise you to read and comment on the consultation which closes on 25 March.