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Stackyard News Feb 06

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Valentine Lottery - Farmers Urged To Check Single Payment Statements For Validation

All English farmers are due to be notified of the number of Single Farm Payment Entitlements they have been allocated and their value, from next Tuesday 14 February (Definitive Establishment Day). The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has welcomed the Government's promise to get the 'bulk' of full payments out by the end of March 2006 but it is urging farmers and land managers to check their letters carefully to clarify whether these entitlement statements are validated or not.


CLA President David Fursdon says: "We are concerned that a high proportion may not be validated and if so, if farmers and land managers decide to trade them, they will be taking a big risk. Let's hope the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) makes it very clear to all farmers and land managers in the accompanying letter and explanatory guidance how the figure in each farmer's definitive (or in some cases non-definitive) entitlement is reached. If the entitlement statements are not validated then they can be traded, but farmers and land managers must be aware that, if subsequently they are not validated, the RPA have the right to just take them back.

"We have also asked the RPA to make plain whether financial sums shown are before or after deductions and that the details behind any deductions be explained very clearly.

"For many, this will be the first correspondence they have had since submitting their applications last May, and I fear that the RPA may not have resources in place to cope with thousands of calls asking for clarification and guidance. The RPA customer service centre is already telling callers that it cannot talk to them or answer their queries until after 6 March and, as happened last year, the CLA and other farming organisations will be swamped with member calls seeking advice on what the information means and what can they do about it. This is particularly worrying when, under the rules, farmers must return their application forms for 2006 by 15th May.

"Our members are also concerned that resources needed to implement the Single Farm Payment Scheme may be impacting on environmental schemes such as countryside stewardship with delays to payments reported in eastern and southern regions."

link At Last! Full Farm Payments Promise By RPA
link Better is More at the Coast
Future Farm Business Models - CLA Wales

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