SCOTTISH FARMERS seeking to maximise their single farm payments by leasing extra land could benefit from a new service launched by consultant Strutt & Parker.

Farmers whose land area has reduced since the 2000-2002 reference period may need to find additional land to ensure their entitlements reflect the average of subsidy payments made on the area held in the reference period.

Tom Stewart, consultant at Strutt & Parker‘s Banchory office in Aberdeenshire, said there was considerable demand from farmers looking to increase their area.

This was so they could make up the shortfall for the 10-month mandatory period.

“There are also farmers with surplus acres they can‘t claim on; for example, those that let land out in the reference period or those who grew unsupported crops.

“Some producers on better land will want to lease extras acres to use as set-aside, and forgo the £246/ha (£100/acre) set-aside rate, to allow better land into production.

“Some beef producers who will claim £150/acre in SFP will be happy to rent in extra land at £30-£40/acre.”