NATIONAL FARMERS Union president Tim Bennett has repeated his call for England‘s farmers to watch the post for a statement on their single farm payment entitlement.

The government will begin posting statements on July 9 and will give producers just 28 days to notify the Rural Payments Agency of any changes needed.

“Because the reference period [2000-2002] straddles the foot-and-mouth disease year, there could be a large number of producers whose details will have changed,” Mr Bennett warned.
 
“The impact of F&M may be fundamental so it is vitally important entitlement details are checked thoroughly,” he said.

The union‘s policy adviser Martin Haworth added that any delays in responding could have a knock-on effect in farmers receiving their payment.

“Don‘t put the letter to one side. We don‘t want any slippage in the date that we receive payments,” Mr Haworth said.

“The coming letter only refers to the historic element of the entitlement – the main form will not arrive until May next year.

“But if we get delays caused by a lack of urgency on farming’s part now, the whole payment system could be pushed back.”

Mr Haworth added that the July 9 date only marked the beginning of the dispatch procedure. Release of the statements will be staggered so some producers may not receive the statement immediately,” he explained.