12 April 2002

Wanted: AAPSguide

URGENT clarification of the implications of new wording in the 2002 Arable Area Payments Scheme guide (Arable, Apr 5) was still being sought by the NFU earlier this week.

The new phrase suggests set-aside land under ESA agreements could miss out on payments.

But confirmation by DEFRAs Rural Payments Agency remains unclear, says NFU arable support scheme adviser Richard Wordsworth.

"We are still looking into the EU rules and regulations with our internal ESA contacts to see whether the RPAs interpretation is correct. With the May 15 IACS deadline coming up its getting critical."

The RPA says it has had a few queries and that the matter has gone back to DEFRA for legal interpretation. &#42