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Extra month to claim rural grants under Basic Payment Scheme

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The Covid-19 crisis continues to effect farmers, landowners and rural businesses in a whole host of operational and financial ways.

In the past six weeks the world has been very different. This has made it difficult for farmers to meet with their agents and so some farmers may miss key deadlines, or be aware of updates and date changes.

One of those changes relates to direct payments to farmers.

The UK left the CAP scheme when the country stepped away from the European Union (EU) earlier this year. Under our withdrawal agreement, most EU regulations governing CAP farm support ceased to apply. New legislation was introduced so that when we left the EU, the CAP payment scheme became part of our domestic law to ensure that farmers could receive their payment for the 2020 scheme year.

With the 15 May deadline to submit claims for this payment only a matter of days away, farmers, and their agents, need to be aware that due to Covid-19 the Government has  extended the deadline to midnight on 15 June. If you need to amend your application you have until the 30 June to do so without incurring a penalty.

All applications must be received by the Rural Payments Agency by 10 July and it should be noted that penalties will apply to those applications made after 15 June, up until 10 July.

As an aside, applications for the Countryside Stewardship Higher-Tier Scheme ended on 1 May. However, you can still apply for a Mid-Tier agreement. Applications for this are now being accepted up until 31 July. Farmers can contact Natural England through their off-farm advice programme to book a clinic session.

Again, many farmers are at risk of missing or misunderstanding deadlines so the rule of thumb is to engage as quickly as possible with their agents and advisors.

Helen Gough is a Partner and agricultural specialist within our award-winning Agriculture and Rural Affairs department. For further advice, readers can email or call Helen directly through 01905 610410.

You can also follow our Agriculture and Rural Affairs team on Twitter through @mfgagriculture.