The 2019 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) application window is now open, and those who are well prepared have already started working on this year’s application. Thankfully, the scheme is operating on the same basis with the scheme rules largely identical to 2018.

The Future

With the ongoing political uncertainty, thoughts turn to what the future might hold for BPS, Countryside Stewardship and other rural grants schemes.

Basic Payment Scheme

BPS is set to be phased out from 2021 until it is gone completely by 2027. The money freed up will be directed into new land management schemes focusing on ‘public money for pub-lic good’. The new schemes are likely to be focussed on the environment although there are some signs that the payment levels will be better than existing environmental schemes.

Efficiency and Productivity

There will be more focus on grants to help farmers become more efficient and productive by funding advanced technologies and equipment. We have seen this already with the Coun-tryside Productivity schemes and they have been well received by those who have applied.

Countryside Stewardship

The existing Countryside Stewardship schemes are still operating and are offering agree-ments for 2, 5 or 10 years. The Government has confirmed that it will guarantee funding for these schemes if they are agreed and signed before 2021. Although they given some cave-ats to this guarantee, these schemes at least offer some fixed returns for the future. They don’t suit everyone, but they are worth considering to guard against future uncertainty.

If you would like any assistance in applying for any of the schemes, please do not hesitate to get in touch – 01684 325215 / 07814 033449