Welsh urged to be patient

WELSH FARMERS who know special circumstances affected their subsidies during single farm payment reference years are being urged to hold off from contacting the Welsh Assembly.

Assembly civil servants admit that a significant number of producers anticipate challenging the historic figures that will be used to calculate their entitlements.

But they say queries will not be dealt with until after farmers receive their specific calculations.

“Our message is simply to please hold on until you get the big yellow envelopes in early July,” Sue Armitage, head of the assembly‘s SFP unit told a press briefing at Builth Wells.

“We cannot do anything until then, and premature inquiries will delay work on preparing the data and processing current CAP payments like suckler cow premium.

“However, our data confirmation pilot scheme has shown that farmers should ensure that they have all the information they need at hand to be able to check and return forms.”

She insisted that her team, and others involved in implementing CAP reform, would do all they could to minimise stress and anxiety.

Farmers could also help by sitting down and thinking about the cash flow implications of receiving just one main support payment sometime between December and June.

The change possibly needed discussing with their bank managers and suppliers, she said.

Ms Armitage added that no final decision had been taken on the SFPs of farmers whose units straddle the Wales/England border.

The two options under consideration were to produce separate calculations on the areas of land located each side, or to apply either the Welsh historic model or the English hybrid system according to the larger proportion of total area in one country.

“Of course we will be able to inform farmers about the decision before the data confirmation forms are posted out.”

The outcome of consultations in Wales on cross compliance, the national reserve and a national envelope would also be published in the next few weeks, she said.

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