Time is running out for organic scheme top-ups

The NFU has warned that farmers could miss out on conversion top-up payments as part of the Organic Entry Level Scheme unless their Rural Land Register maps are processed quickly.

Julie Robinson, NFU chief legal adviser, said: “The OELS guidance is quite clear.

An OELS agreement covering those fields must be signed up to within the first year of conversion for those top-up payments to be available.

“Farmers in this position are urged to check the start date for conversion and write to the RPA to request that any outstanding RLR issues are given priority.”

The NFU and the Soil Association sent a joint letter to Lord Bach last year, urging action on this point.

But the NFU is raising the matter again because it says it is totally unacceptable that conversion aid should end up being lost because the RPA has been unable to provide finalised maps.

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