UK - The Rural Payments Agency appears to be making good progress in processing claims but must be more transparent with its timeline for delivering BPS and agri-environment schemes as thousands of English farmers plan their cash-flow arrangements for the coming months.
Earlier this year the RPA said that farm payments would begin in December with the vast majority going out before the end of January.
After a meeting with the RPA on Friday the NFU was impressed by the progress it had made so far.
NFU Vice President, Guy Smith said: "Thousands of farmers in England are concerned about their cash flow arrangements and are looking to the RPA to publicly give concrete reassurances on when their farm payments will be made.
“After meeting Mark Grimshaw and his team I was pleased to see the progress the RPA has made in recent weeks. However, there is still much to be done and I would urge the RPA to keep farmers informed on the dates they should expect to receive their BPS and agri-environment scheme payments.
NFU Director General Andy Robertson said: "These payments are more important than ever this year, which is why we have been so concerned about the well-documented and serious problems at the application stage.
“The NFU welcomes the RPA's willingness to keep us regularly updated on its progress.
“We are encouraged to see that the RPA has now got its hands firmly on the tiller. Equally, we are under no illusion as to the size of the task of issuing agri-environment payments and meeting commitments on BPS payments. Some farmers have already been expecting agri-environment scheme payments for several weeks. They need a transparent timeline to plan their business for the year ahead."ThePoultrySite News Desk
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