Farmers encouraged to claim CS and ES payments

From today (14th March) Farmers have been encouraged to claim Countryside Stewardship (CS) revenue and Environmental Stewardship (ES) agreement payments promptly.

Rural Payments Agency opens claim windows for farm payments for 2024

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) announced today that farmers who would like to receive payment for works carried out through 2024 schemes must submit an annual declaration or claim form for Countryside Stewardship or Environmental Stewardship before 15th May 2024. 

Any claims submitted after that day, up to the final deadline of 2nd September, will have a late claim reduction applied to payments. 

Supporting sustainable food production 

Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship provide financial incentives for farmers, foresters and land managers to support sustainable food production. The scheme implements measures that increase biodiversity, grows habitats, expands woodland areas, improves water quality, and enhances natural flood management. 

In 2023, the RPA supplemented the existing online claim process for Countryside Stewardship with a more straightforward annual declaration option in cases where no changes are required.  

This will remain available in the Rural Payments service for 2024, with farmers able to generate and submit an automated revenue claim without needing to complete each section of the claim form.  

Do not miss the deadline 

Rural Payments Agency Chief Executive Paul Caldwell said: “I know how important cashflow is to rural businesses, particularly in the current climate, which is why we will continue processing claims as quickly as possible to get payments into farmers’ bank accounts.  

“I encourage eligible farmers to submit their claims for CS revenue and ES agreements before the deadline to ensure they are rewarded for their efforts to produce food sustainably while improving the environment.”  

Delinked payments  

RPA reminds customers that those who wish to transfer some or all their ‘reference amount’ for delinked payments to another business must do so by 10th May 2024.  

For example, farmers may wish to do this if their business has split, merged with another business or been given a new Single Business Identifier since they were paid BPS 2020.  

The RPA replaced the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) in England with delinked payments, which will be paid each year from 2024 to 2027.  

The agency plans to make advance payments of around 50% from 1st August and balance payments from 1st December. There is no need to apply for delinked payments.   

The amount farmers receive will decrease each year as progressive reductions are applied. It is calculated based on a ‘reference amount’, which will normally be the average of your BPS payments made for the 2020 to 2022 scheme years.  

You must have claimed and been eligible for BPS payments in England in the 2023 scheme year, except for some inheritance cases. 

More information on how to claim for existing CS revenue payments.

More information on how to get paid under an ES agreement.

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