BPS boosted by exchange rate

Sally Horrocks, an associate at land, property and business consultancy George F White.
Sally Horrocks, an associate at land, property and business consultancy George F White.

East Yorkshire farmers are set to receive another increase in their Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) funding, due to the improved exchange rate for 2017 which is set at €1 = £0.8947.

The 2017 exchange rate sees another increase, for the second year running, of 5%, compared to last year.

This year’s BPS payment window opens on 1 December and farmers are hoping for a smooth and swift payment.

Farmers have also been receiving an extra payment from the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) recently in the form of the Financial Discipline Mechanism (FDM) reimbursement. Similar to last year, these monies originate from deductions taken from the previous year’s payments being refunded back.

Sally Horrocks, an associate at land, property and business consultancy George F White said: “This news will be an encouragement for farmers given the frustrating year for many with the stop-start weather. Farming profits look to be slightly higher than last year, mainly given the weaker pound aiding commodity prices, however, for many they will still struggle to have an ‘average’ year in terms of profitability.

“Entitlement values are still to be set; but increases in BPS payment should be around £10/ha for Non-Severely Disadvantaged and Severely Disadvantaged (SDA) claimants and a further £2-3/ha being received for those with Moorland ground.

“It will be interesting to see how those who opted to receive their BPS payment in Euros will fair, given the exchange rate.

“Unless there is a major political event that causes the pound to weaken even further, there will be those who will be wishing they had opted to receive payment in sterling, rather than having to watch the markets closely in order not to lose out.

“There are still a number of farmers awaiting post payment adjustments relating to RPA payment errors in 2015 and 2016. The RPA has stated it’s striving to communicate better, however the advice would be to contact the RPA again to make sure that your case isn’t forgotten about.”

If you’d like to discuss this year’s BPS application process or would like any guidance, please call Sally Horrocks on 01677 458201 or email sallyhorrocks@georgefwhite.co.uk