Farmers filling in an English single farm payment form – SP5 – are experiencing some common problems, according to Rebecca Marshall, national adviser for the Tenant Farmers Association.

Ms Marshall said that she was receiving calls on four key areas which seemed to be causing producers problems.

These are:

Ten month rule

Farmers who swap land so they can grow potatoes are reminded that they need to double check with the previous claimant the dates used for the 10 month rule.

If someone puts in a claim in 2007 using a ten month period which overlaps the one used on the 2006 claim then it will be judged to be a dual claim.

Fewer entitlements than expected

Many farmers believe that they have been allocated fewer entitlements than they should have been so feel uncomfortable about filling in Part E of the form. The TFA says producers should tick the activate all entitlements box in E8 to cover themselves and explain in their covering letter that they think they should have more entitlements and it is not their intention to defraud the RPA.

Crop codes

Farmers are still nervous about what crop code to use for wheat and barley because the booklet does not spell it out. In fact these fall into the “other” category so the code is OT1.


Farmers are reminded that this year they must not claim for any set-aside over and above what is required to activate their set-aside entitlements. Producers who want some insurance set-aside should code it as OT2 and manage it in accordance with GAEC 12 (read page 24-26 of the Cross-Compliance handbook.)

If you are still working on your form and have a query you want answering, why not put it to one of our experts on the forums.

Alternatively, you can find out how deputy news editor Isabel Davies got on with her family’s form on the Food For Thought blog.