Majority of farmers to get SFP in early December

The bulk of farmers across the UK should receive their single farm payment at the start of next week.

The Scottish government has said 15,700 producers will get their SFP on Monday 2 December – the first day that payments are permitted under EU rules.

A spokesman from the Welsh government said that 3,100 farmers who had been affected by the severe weather in March and April had already received their money.

“Last year 91% of Welsh farmers received their single payments on the first day of the payment window. We will announce this year’s results at the Winter Fair on Monday 2 December, but are hopeful we will exceed last year’s excellent performance.”

In England, Mark Grimshaw, chief executive of the Rural Payments Agency, said: “Last year we paid out £1.38bn to 95,000 farmers on the first day of banking (reaching 91.4% of our customers and representing 84.6% of the estimated fund value).

“This year we have set ourselves the even more challenging target of paying 93% of customers and 86% of value by 31 December 2013.”

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland’s agriculture minister Michelle O’Neill has announced the first payments should reach farmer accounts by 6 December. She said: “I aim to finalise about 85% of the 37,600 claims submitted to the 2013 scheme in December, which amounts to £213m in payments made.

“In real terms this means that more than 700 additional farmers will be paid in December than last year – making a real difference to cashflows. I expect a total of 95% of payments to be made by the end of February 2014.”

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