FARMERS IN England will have their single farm payment information statements posted to them on one of three dates in July.

Which date will depend on which county they farm in.

The Rural Payments Agency has revealed that it is sending out the forms in three, staggered batches.

The first will be put in the post (Jul 9) and the last will not go out until the end of the month (see box).

Bill Duncan, head of the RPA‘s Central Scheme Management Unit, said an explanatory booklet would go out with the 70,000 statements that set out what farmers needed to do.

Producers have 28 days – measured from the day the form arrives on-farm – to respond to the statement, he said.

But farmers would only need to reply if amendments were needed or if they were affected by the special circumstances during the 2000-2002 reference period.

Mr Duncan said if farmers realised they were going to have a problem turning around the form in 28 days they should let the RPA know.

But he added: “What we are trying to do is help farmers and us progress with the SFP.

“We want to work with the industry to get as much of this organised as efficiently as possible and we are relying on farmers to help.”

Letters will be posted as follows:

   Statement Distribution Dates

Batch 1 – posted on Jul 9
Devon; Avon; North Yorks; Norfolk; Bucks; Hereford & Worcester; Essex; Merseyside; Shrops; Cumbria; Isle of Wight; Greater London; Middlesex; Lincs; Notts.
Batch 2 – posted on Jul 23
Cornwall; Humberside; Kent; Cleveland; Berks; Suffolk; Cheshire; Tyne & Wear; East Sussex; West Sussex; Leics.
Batch 3 – posted in Jul 30
Dorset; Somerset; Wilts; Isles of Scilly; Beds; Durham; Hants; Herts; Warks; West Midlands; South Yorks; West Yorks; East Yorks; Oxon; Cambs; Gloucs; Staffs; Greater Manchester; Lancs; Northumberland; Surrey; Derbys; Northants.
NOTE: Postal delivery times will affect when farmers receive the statements. Some farmers will also find that they do not receive their statement according to this timetable because the RPA is carrying out additional checks before despatch.