SWFC’s Anna Heaton advises farmers to check the information the RPA holds–and make sure all eligible land is available to claim
The Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) application window opened on Thursday 12th March, with the usual deadline of midnight on 15th May.
Problems with remote sensing
Since the beginning of the year, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has been undertaking its normal remote sensing exercise. As a result, the vast majority of our clients have had at least one field change made.
In some cases, the changes are minor: the adjustment of a boundary and a change in field size in the order of a hundredth of a hectare, for example. However, we have also had the usual round of major eligible area reductions, most commonly due to the RPA declaring some part of a field parcel ineligible for BPS.
Check the RPA’s information
While remote sensing is a useful tool it only assesses the eligible area of a field by looking down from above. So if you have trees overhanging a field boundary, for example, then remote sensing often declares the area underneath–which may well be cropped or grazed–as ineligible. Similar issues arise with clumps of trees in the middle of fields: if there is grass–and stock can still graze underneath the trees–the area could be incorrectly declared as ineligible.
SWFC has submitted multiple RLE1 forms this year to reverse these remote sensing decisions and ensure that all eligible land owned by our clients is available to claim on in this year’s BPS. We’d advise you to log in to the RPA’s online system and take a look at any changes they’ve made so you have time to do something about it before the deadline for claims.
Looking for help?
If you’d like us to help with your BPS application–or submit a request to reverse any decisions–please get in touch for a no-obligation chat on 01503 220002 or send us a message on our Contact Page.