Basic Payment Scheme 2017
The Basic Payment Scheme is the biggest agricultural subsidy available to Farmers from the European Union. Applications are submitted on or before the 15th May and most payment are made the following December. The scheme is essentially a concept whereby Farmers are paid a subsidy dependent on their land area in return for abiding by a set of good practice rules, aimed ultimately at the environment.
In addition to BPS, similar subsidy schemes on offer from the EU are Countryside Stewardship schemes, however these require more than just good practice form the Farmer. Such scheme may include leaving plots fallow, and planting mixes to encourage many different types of flora and fauna. If may also prescribe certain types of management on areas of land to maintain particular features.
The Grasslands Farms have a combination of the above schemes operating and all the management from completing claim forms to managing the rotations are completes in house, which is part of the service on offer to its Landowners.
Grasslands takes its impact on the environment within the countryside seriously. Operating a low input natured business naturally leads to the consumption of fewer resources, which often leads to lower costs of production. Further, we work closely with our milk processors to produce carbon foot printing scores, benchmark them and work to improve the various variables.
Grasslands is currently involved in a scheme with Reaseheath working on developing a programme aimed at reducing impact on the environment through the effective reductions of manure and fertiliser spread on land, limiting applications to what is required by the crop in production.
Following the vote on Brexit a major review will need to take place on the future of these subsides. However, the government has put forward the view that these will remain in place from when we leave the EU in 2019 to at least 2022.
Grasslands’ view is that protection of the environment should be high on the agenda for any farming company, Brexit or no Brexit. At Grasslands, we feel that the pasture based farming method is naturally very compliant with the aims of the subsidy schemes and the wider environmental aims.
For these subsidies to survive, the wider public needs to see the value in improvements to the environment and farmers need to demonstrate their achievements. A transparent view of the environment, costs of food production and the costs to the tax payer has to be achieved. The Open Farm Sunday and other initiatives, have started the crucial process of reconnecting farmers to consumers.