NFU president Peter Kendall has warned junior DEFRA minister Jeff Rooker that the union is concerned about progress with 2006 single farm payments.

Mr Kendall has told Lord Rooker that things at the Rural Payments Agency do not seem to be getting any better.
“We’re getting very near to the point where 2006 payments could start to fall behind what was paid out at this time last year,” he said.

“This, together with the fact that three scheme years will soon be in the mix, leaves me with serious doubts about whether we will ever reach real stability.

“By that I mean everyone knowing their allocation is correct and receiving payment early in the payment window.”
During the meeting on Wdnesday (25 April), Lord Rooker and Mr Kendall also discussed the future of agri-environment schemes with the president flagging up concerns about raising the entry bar, which was highlighted by Natural England Chief Dr Helen Phillips during the NFU conference back in February.
Mr Kendall said: “The whole point of Entry Level Schemes is they are accessible to all-comers. We have backed the idea of a broad and shallow scheme and encouraged farmers to take it up.

“Any moving of the goalposts at this early stage would be completely unacceptable and such talk is counter-productive.”

For the story of a woman who has been paid just £89 of the £20,000 she is expecting see the Yorkshire Post website.

Have you got a question about the Entry Level Scheme? Why not post it on our dedicated forum area?

For more on single farm payments see FWi’s special report on the Single Payment Scheme.