Rural Payments Agency Compliance Guidance

Rural Payments Agency Compliance Guidance

Robert Gazely

Robert Gazely

Apr, 10 2024

Whilst the rigour of the BPS application has gone, there is still a requirement for farmers and landowners to complete annual Countryside Stewardship (CS) revenue claims and Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) declarations.

Compatibility with land cover and land use as declared in the land use table is key to ensure all claims are swiftly settled, and queries and payment delays from the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) are avoided. The deadline for CS revenue claims is 15th May. This deadline also applies to all ELS-HLS revenue claims. Late claim reductions will apply for revenue claims received by the RPA after this date.

If you hold a CS or SFI agreement, doing nothing is not an option.

For your land cover updates (e.g. arable, permanent grassland, scrub, woodland), land should be checked on a parcel by parcel basis. Where changes have arisen in the last year, these will need to be amended with the RPA online. The reason for this is compatibility. The RPA will carry out land cover cross checks against ELS-HLS, CSS and SFI agreements.  While we are led to believe that having land cover up to date by 15th May is not a requirement of the revenue claim process, the land cover will need to be compatible for the RPA to process and make ELS-HLS, CSS and SFI payments in a timely fashion.

For land use updates (e.g. winter wheat, spring beans, fallow, temporary grass, mixed crop) the RPA strongly recommends that land use is kept updated and correct. Checks will again need to be done on a land parcel by parcel basis and the land use table updated accordingly.

You can update your records yourself, or speak to your Ceres Rural advisor to assist you in ensuring you comply; as ever, they will be more than happy to help you. If you are unsure who to speak to, or simply want to understand more about your specific situation and how we could help, contact Partner and project leader, Robert Gazely via the contact details below.

E: robert.gazely@ceresrural.co.uk
T: 07592 041617

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