With less than a month to go until application deadline, Helen Proud sets out the top 10 things to remember for Scottish BPS 2022.
1. Applications can only be submitted online this year, there will be no paper applications. If you need an agent to do this a Business Mandate Form will need to be submitted in advance.
2. No crop diversification requirement.
3. You still need to meet your Ecological Focus Area (EFA) requirements (5% of your arable area needs to be declared as an EFA). There are some exemptions to this, such as:
- If you declare over 75% of your land as grassland
- You have less than 15ha of arable
- Your holding is organic.
4. The seven EFA options are as follows and are all weighted differently:
- Fallow land (1 ha = 1 ha EFA)
- Margins (1ha = 1.5 ha EFA)
- Catch crops (1ha = 0.3ha EFA)
- Green cover (1ha = 0.3ha EFA)
- Nitrogen-fixing crops (1ha = 1ha EFA)
- Hedges (1m = 10 m sq EFA for both sides or 5 sqm for one side)
- Agro-forestry (1ha = 1ha EFA)
5. All payments will once again be made in Pounds Sterling this year, no payments will be made in Euros.
6. There are no longer any cross-border claims, all payment regions are separate. You cannot use land in other parts of the UK to meet your EFA requirements.
7. BPS payments have been guaranteed until at least 2024.
8. Permanent pasture cannot be ploughed up without first determining whether an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is required. Grassland that is a semi-natural area must have an EIA approved first. Farms are required to keep a record of nitrogen fertiliser and lime applied to permanent grassland.
9. Temporary grassland will become permanent grassland after five years if it has not been cropped with an arable crop during that time.
10. The Single Application Form can be submitted until midnight 16th May 2022.
For more details on Scottish BPS applications or any of the grants and funding schemes, please contact our any of our Scottish rural team.