Thousands drop out of single farm payment chaos

Thousands of landowners have abandoned the Single Payment Scheme for 2006, following a year of chaos at the Rural Payments Agency and payment delays.

The RPA has confirmed that it had received 105,000 SP5 forms by 2 June, 2006, compared with a total of 120,000 in 2005.

An agency spokesman pointed out that everyone had to submit an SP5 in 2005 because it was "ground zero" in terms of establishing entitlements. But in 2006 applicants only had to complete a form if claiming a payment.

"The people who have dropped out are likely to be those with very low claims," he said. "Many people - particularly pony paddock claimants - may not wish to activate entitlements this year."

But there are signs that some commercial farmers are also turning away from the scheme.

Farmers Weekly has spoken to a West Sussex dairy farmer who has sold his entitlements - worth £14,000 a year - because he wants to farm without interference.

Source: FWi
calendar icon 13 June 2006
clock icon 1 minute read
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