Payments made to farmers under the 2018 Basic Payment Scheme look set to be worth around the same amount as last year.
Under the rules of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), support payments for farmers across the UK are set in euros and then converted to Sterling using the average European Central Bank (ECB) exchange rate recorded across the month of September.
From 1st to 24th September inclusive, the average rate has been £0.89338, with rates fluctuating between £0.90328 (5 Sept) and £0.88590 (20 Sept).
This suggests a final 2018 conversion rate very similar to last year when the rate was €1 = £0.89470.
George Chichester, farming consultant at Strutt & Parker, said: “We will have to wait until 28 September for final confirmation of the exchange rate that will be used to set payments and it is always possible that things could change.
“The exact value of entitlements for 2018 will also not be confirmed until November, as it is based on the total number of hectares of eligible land claimed for in each region. However, at this stage, farmers look set to receive payments in line with last year.
“Looking forward, DEFRA has made clear that the 2019 Basic Payment will be paid in the same way as in 2018. In 2020, the payment will come from the UK government and will be subject to minor changes of simplification. Thereafter payments will fall and ultimately disappear altogether, with this likely to be phased over six years to 2027.”
The value of BPS payments for a 200ha lowland (non-SDA) farm in England (including greening and after Financial Discipline has been applied) have been as follows:
2017 – £227.88/ha
2016 – £212.81/ha
2015 – £178.95/ha