flooded fields

BPS 2020 – Crop Diversification & Extreme Weather

Friday, 17 January 2020

BPS 2020 – Crop Diversification & Extreme Weather

Many farmers have had both a challenging autumn and what looks to be an even more challenging few weeks ahead in getting their crops sown and established, not only have they had to contend with the practicalities of the problems but also the difficulties in complying with the 3 crop rule for crop diversification.

RPA Guidance for Crop Planning

The RPA have released some guidance that may help with making decisions on cropping plans for the forthcoming season.

In brief, the guidance states:

The link can be found here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claiming-bps-2020-and-greening-payments-in-extreme-weather

Business Planning

If you are in the position described above, it would be wise to talk to one of us at Howkins. We can assist in putting into place a plan to work to, that will comply with the RPA requirements. This will also help your business plan for the season ahead. There may be more guidance released over the next few weeks should the weather situation fail to improve. We will advise our clients as soon as possible should further communications be made available.  

Force Majeure

If adverse weather and flooding continues to prevail, the government may look to consider a force majeure claim later in Spring 2020, once the full impact on the present weather conditions and the final impact on spring cropping can be assessed. If would be prudent to begin to collate evidence from now onwards which may (or may not) be required to support a future claim. Evidence may include; rainfall data showing exceptional levels of precipitation on the dates that you would normally be drilling or planting crops; seed invoices supported with delivery notes; evidence of soil types; crop and drilling dates if applicable; original cropping plans for 2020; letters from suppliers if seed orders were unfulfilled; date stamped photos containing reference features which are referenced back to a map for identification purposes.

Extreme Hardship due to crop failure

If extreme hardship is endured on the back of the extreme weather, the Framing Recovery Fund may be able to provide money to assist farmers in restoring their agricultural land as quickly as possible when affected by flooding. Administered by the Rural Payments Agency on behalf of Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), assistance up to 100% may be available. Grants of between £500 and £25,000 to cover non-insurable items and activities such as re-cultivation, reseeding, reinstating field boundaries and removing debris from agricultural ground may all be covered. Relevant geographical areas will be published in due course once the full scope of the flooding has been assessed.

For advice on all matters of funding, planning and support and remedial action for agricultural land recovery, as well as for all other rural matters, please contact your nearest H&H office on:

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