The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has confirmed that 97% of farmers have received their final BPS payment in the first few days of the payment window.
The announcement means that a further £525 million has now been released into the rural economy, building on the advance payments made in August this year.
So far over 91,000 applications and claims have been completed across the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), Countryside Stewardship (CS) revenue and Environmental Stewardship (ES) schemes.
These payments support farmers to run profitable and productive businesses while delivering environmental outcomes in a range of habitats – £70m under the Environmental Stewardship scheme will be issued in the next few days.
The RPA said it had received feedback to support farmers improve their cashflow by releasing Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) payments early.
Farmers who have a live Sustainable Farming Incentive 2023 agreement before the end of this year will receive an accelerated payment worth 25% of the annual value of their agreement in the first month of their agreement, helping with cashflow and ensuring SFI works for farm businesses.
Around 850 farmers whose agreements started in October and November have now received their early payment, with a total £2.8m paid, and those whose agreements started on December 1 are set to receive their payment in the coming days.
RPA chief executive Paul Caldwell said: “This year farmers and rural businesses have continued to face a number of challenges and that’s why the RPA has been working hard to improve cash flow and make sure farmers receive their final BPS payments as quickly as possible.
“Delinked payments will provide financial support over the next four years as we encourage farmers and land managers to enter our environmental land management schemes where they will be paid to take actions that will support sustainable food production while protecting the environment.”