Basic Payment Scheme update

By Catherine Smith, Land Agent

It has been confirmed that there are no changes to the 2020 Basic Payment Scheme* (BPS) rules in Scotland, and farmers and crofters should continue to adhere to all the requirements as they have done since the new scheme was introduced in 2015.

While there has been confusion regarding the requirement to adhere to the greening elements in 2020, there are no changes to any of the greening elements, and all, including crop diversification rules will still apply.

With cropping plans now being drawn up for the 2020 harvest, it is paramount that greening requirements remain of high importance when making decisions.

As way of reminder, broadly speaking the greening requirements cover permanent grassland, crop diversification and Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs). While there are some exemptions to the rules, which can become quite complex depending on your individual situation, the vast majority of farms in Scotland will need to comply to some degree with the greening obligations, or face losing their greening payment which makes up 30% of the Basic Scheme payment.

The 2019 BPS exchange rate has been confirmed by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA). The euro exchange rate for calculating BPS 2019 payments made in sterling will be €1 = £0.89092. This is slightly down on 2018 (€1 = £0.89281) and 2017 (€1 = £0.89470).

* The Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) is the result of reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy in 2015. It is the biggest of the European Union’s grants and payments for direct income support for farmers.

Published on 15th October 2019