Poll: Farmers in England, have you been paid your BPS?

Defra says it has paid more than two-thirds of farmers their 2018 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) money.

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has an internal target of paying at least 90% of eligible farmers and landowners their BPS cash by the end of December.

But the NFU understands that many of the two-thirds of farm businesses that have already received the BPS payments are farmers with smaller claims.

See also: Defra under pressure to pay BPS loans to ease cash flow crisis

“Judging by the show of hands I’m seeing at recent NFU meetings I’d estimate around 50% of NFU members have been paid,” said NFU deputy president Guy Smith.

Mr Smith added: “It remains our hope that from January Defra will pay bridging loans to everyone who has not received their bridging payments – roughly 7-8% of claimants.

“Farmers desperately need this money to ease cash flow problems following a challenging year.”

By contrast, in Wales more than 95% of farm businesses were paid either their BPS claims or BPS loan applications during the first week of the 2018 payment window.

And in Scotland, more than 99% of BPS applicants have already benefited from interest-free BPS bridging loans, worth at least 70% of the value of claims. In Northern Ireland, 97% of farm businesses were paid their BPS money on 3 December, worth £85m in total.