Farmer Focus: BPS delay puts huge pressure on cashflow

The start of 2016 has been one of the hardest periods of my farming life to get through.

Not only have we had a phenomenal amount of rain, but there has also been huge pressure on cashflow for myself and thousands of other farmers as a result of receiving no BPS payment.

On taking the farm business tenancy here, a bank loan was agreed with the BPS payment covering the capital at the end of December each year and interest being paid monthly.

I’m yet to receive anything from the RPA – no letters, no emails, no telephone calls and of course no BPS payment. As I’m sure you can imagine, this has made my financial situation very difficult.

I feel extremely let down by the RPA and the current government, who have shown absolutely no sympathy for young farmers, tenant farmers and relatively new starters, such as myself. Meanwhile, many land owners – many of whom can manage without subsidy payments – were paid in full on 1 December.

See also: Read more from the livestock farmer focus writers

On a more positive note, our ewes scanned at 193% and yearlings at 161%.

The ground is slowly starting to dry out so hopefully we can begin to put on some fertiliser ahead of lambing in late March.

Tenant farming is becoming harder and harder to make a profit from, so it is essential we remain on top of our game and get the best from our land and livestock.

Hopefully things will be a bit better by the time I write my next article.

Jim Beary contract rears 900 calves a year and has a growing flock of Aberfield cross New Zealand Romneys on a county council farm. He also runs a contract gritting enterprise in winter.