Farmer anger at the number of unvalidated entitlement statements that have been sent to producers in England is growing.

The Rural Payments Agency has confirmed that it has issued 117,000 entitlement statements of which 39,000 are fully validated but 78,000 are not yet validated.

But a spokesman added: “This position of a third validated, two-thirds unvalidated, will naturally change dramatically in the weeks ahead as more claims are fully validated allowing payments to be made, and we work towards our target of making the bulk of payments by the end of March.”

But farmers are growing increasingly furious at the situation.

Writing on the Talking Point section of FWi member Jaypee said: “I received my statement 2/3/06, interestingly it was dated 21/2/06 (presumably they had left it on the mantel piece for a week before posting)…

“Of course it is not validated so I haven’t a clue if it is right. I can’t imagine why it has not been validated because my situation is very straightforward with no complications or ifs buts and maybes. The cynic in me thinks that there is no validation problem at all and that posting was just a desk-clearing exercise to tick a target box. We shall see. I hope.”

Another poster called HAS said his statement – like everybody else’s seemed to be – was unvalidated.

“Why? Who knows? I certainly don’t. The call centre was useless. The poor girl I finally got through to had obviously drawn the short straw, information she had none, answers she had none.

“The whole exercise is designed to let Lord Bach off the hook; he can puff his chest and say that DEFRA met it’s deadline. It’s a meaningless bit of paper that has probably cost thousands of pounds to produce. What a waste!”