Farmers are showing their usual resilience and fortitude in the face of new challenges and most businesses have already completed their Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) application and Environmental (ES) or Countryside Stewardship (CS) claims by the traditional deadline of 15 May.
Nevertheless, DEFRA’s decision to extend the claim deadline to 15 June will have been welcomed by those who – for numerous reasons – may have had usual work patterns interrupted.
The later deadline provides an opportunity to spend the time on the application that it deserves, so as to avoid a rushed submission.
Our national team of farming specialists, from 14 offices in all corners of the country are fresh from submitting hundreds of BPS claims covering over 500,000 acres for clients, and now have the capacity to take on additional work from any businesses which may benefit from a helping hand.
Please contact your local office who will be able to put you in touch with the best local contact.
Countryside Stewardship Scheme
Strutt & Parker’s farm business consultants are also highly experienced when it comes to the Countryside Stewardship Scheme (CSS).
This scheme is becoming increasingly popular as it becomes better understood and as the phasing out of BPS creeps ever closer.
Farmers have until 31 May to request a paper Mid-Tier application pack (or 30 June for an online version), which then has to be submitted to the Rural Payments Agency by 31 July.
Alternatively, for a simpler CSS Wildlife Offer, it is possible to apply directly online before 31 July.
Successful applicants will be offered an agreement to start on 1 January 2021.
The key to a profitable and successful CSS agreement is in the planning, with a joint financial and physical appraisal being carried out first to identify which options are right for each farm, so as to design a scheme which dovetails as best as possible with the current farming operation.
With large-scale rotational options available on arable land it is possible for a CSS agreement to take a leading role in the overall gross margin of a farm.
Our regional farming specialists are well-placed to advise on the pros and cons of each option and design the right scheme for your farm.
If your Higher Level Stewardship agreement is coming to an end this year, or if you are yet to embark on stewardship, then this might be the year to get started.