Hill payments start for farmers in England

The Rural Payments Agency has started to make Hill Farm Allowance (HFA) payments to hill farmers.

By 1 March 4294 claimants (70% of eligible farmers) had received partial payments and a total of just over £10m had been paid out.

Under EU rules, farmers who are eligible can receive 75% of their payment when all the administrative checks have been completed, provided their Single Payment Scheme claim is also fully validated.

Balance payments for the HFA should start in April once the inspection programme is complete.

This is the last year of the HFA scheme, which is being succeeded by Uplands Entry Level Stewardship.

Uplands ELS will be delivered by Natural England and the first agreements will start in July 2010.

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