Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Printable version

Rural Payments Agency opens application windows for farm payments for 2023

Farmers can now apply for the Basic Payment Scheme and claim for their existing Countryside Stewardship revenue and Environmental Stewardship agreements.

The application window for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and the claim window for existing Countryside Stewardship (CS) revenue and Environmental Stewardship (ES) agreements opened yesterday (Tuesday 14 March).

Basic Payment Scheme

Last year, BPS advance payments were made in the summer for the first time to help farmers with their cashflow, with balance payments made from December. This change to the BPS payment cycle will continue and this year advance payments of around 50% of the total will be made from the start of August 2023.

Direct Payments, currently paid through BPS, are being steadily phased out through to 2027 as the government introduces the Environmental Land Management schemes. As part of this process, we plan to replace BPS with delinked payments based on a farmer’s average BPS payments for the 2020 to 2022 scheme years. The payments will be reduced each year as they are phased out. Farmers must claim and be eligible for BPS payments in the 2023 scheme year to receive delinked payments for 2024 to 2027.

Cross compliance will end after the 2023 scheme year and will not apply to delinked payments, although the vast majority of strong legal standards for the environment and animal health and welfare will continue and these will be enforced in a fair and proportionate way. We will work with farmers to get it right and give them a chance to self-correct before taking stronger action, for example by increasing the use of warning letters, where appropriate, rather than immediately defaulting to payment penalties.

Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship

For 2023 the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has supplemented the existing online claim process for CS with a more straightforward annual declaration option in cases where no changes are required. This will be available in the Rural Payments service, with farmers able to generate and submit an automated revenue claim without needing to complete each section of the claim form.

All farmers must submit a claim or annual declaration for CS and ES to receive payment for works carried out in 2023.

Rural Payments Agency Chief Executive Paul Caldwell yesterday said:

I know the importance of cashflow to rural businesses at this time. I am pleased that we have continued to achieve a strong performance to help farmers deliver sustainable food production alongside environmental actions to enhance and support nature.

I encourage all eligible farmers to submit their applications and claims as soon as possible to ensure that no one misses out.

The government is committed to investing £2.4 billion per year into the farming sector for the rest of this parliament – with all the money from reduced BPS payments being reinvested into the sector through our ongoing payments and one-off grants under our Environmental Land Management schemes.

In January, the government set out detailed plans on the improved and expanded Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) and Countryside Stewardship, as well as increased payment rates through Countryside Stewardship and a new SFI Management Payment worth up to £1,000 to help manage costs.

The schemes offer something for every farmer, with six further SFI standards open for applications this summer, and even more actions to be added to both schemes next year.


Channel website:

Original article link:

Share this article

Latest News from
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs