Farmers who are yet to be paid their 2005 single farm payment deserve compensation over and above the interest that has been promised by DEFRA, according to one Oxfordshire producer.

Richard Strainge of Springhill Farm, High Cogges, Witney is one of about 400 commercial farmers yet to receive even a partial payment and he now describes himself as “very disgruntled”.

Mr Strainge, who farms 240ha (593 acres) with his wife Jan and son John, has contacted the RPA 18 times since the end of April (see diary), but he is still waiting for both an entitlement statement and a payment.

He also feels he has not got any answers as to why his claim is still unpaid.

A further frustration is the fact it has taken more than a year to get accepted into the Entry Level Stewardship Scheme and he has received five written confirmations of his 2006 SP5 form, although the RPA did not send him an application form to complete in the first place.

“Some farmers were paid in March and have had four months to use that money.

I have not had that opportunity,” he said.

“So I feel some kind of compensation should be forthcoming, or I should be paid the 2006 payment four months in advance of everyone else.”

A spokesman for the RPA said the agency did not comment on individual cases, “but we are working flat out to resolve these outstanding claims.”

isabel.davies@rbi.co.uk