Agri-Facts Issue 23

Single Payment Scheme

The 2012 Single Farm Payment Application window is now officially open.

Farmers who applied online in 2011 will not receive a paper SPS application form in the post this year. Instead, the RPA is sending them the Guidance Supplement for 2012 which includes the key updates for this scheme year.

Farmers and landowners are reminded to consider carefully whether they can still satisfy their obligations under the scheme when another farmer is claiming under a different scheme on the same land – this is known as ‘dual use’.

Dual use and Common land claim letters have been released to those affected in 2011. Producers are advised to seek professional advice where necessary to help avoid penalties on the 2012 claim.

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UTP Payments

Beef and sheep farmers working some of the most difficult terrain in England are receiving Uplands Transitional Payments (UTP) ranging from just over £7 to nearly £41 per hectare depending on the type and size of their land.

Figures published on Friday 16th March for 2012 show that the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has paid out £4m since payments started on the 28th February, with more than 1,240 uplands farmers receiving full payments. This represents just over 72% of eligible claimants paid in the first two weeks.

The payment rates for UTP 2012 have been set as follows:

Area
(hectares)

Severely Disadvantaged Land (other than moorland or common land) (£/ha)

Severely Disadvantaged Land (moorland or common land) (£/ha)

0 – 350 ha

40.96

20.48

351 – 700 ha

15.52

7.76



The Uplands Transitional Payment 2012 to 2014 booklet is available on the RPA website.
The UTP 2013 claim can be made on the SPS 2012 application using the SPS Online service, which is now available on the Business Link website via www.businesslink.gov.uk/sps-claim (select ‘Log in to RPA Online’. or, for farmers who have not used the service, ‘Go to RPA Online to register’.)

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Schmallenberg virus: further update on GB testing results

Schmallenberg virus (SBV) infection has been identified on 235 farms. Twenty five of the positive cases have been diagnosed in cattle, 210 in sheep, and none to date in other species such as goats, camelids or deer. Currently, SBV infection has only been identified in areas predicted to be at risk of midge incursion from Northern Europe during summer / autumn 2011. We cannot rule out the possibility that domestic (local) midges may have transmitted SBV within the affected areas. Domestic midges may have been infected after biting a local animal infected last summer after incursion of continental midges.

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Government loses FiT case in Supreme Court

 

It is being reported that the Government has lost its case on Feed-in Tariffs in the Supreme Court. This means that all solar pv installations completed by 3rd March 2012 will be paid at the old FiT rate of 43p/kWh.

 

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LFASS and SFP

Scottish LFASS payments should be coming out to producers within the next couple of weeks as inspections are now completed. With regards to SDFP there are still some outstanding mapping queries to resolve though cross border claims and those with inspection queries are also likely hold ups for those who have yet to be paid.

IACS and SAF forms are heading your way – check your post.  If you submitted your SAF on line last year your form will be pre-populated on line and you will not receive a paper copy of the SAFor the IACS guidance.  If you need these they are on line.  If you have not submitted your SAF on line before, but would like to do so, you must pre-register.  More info available at www.ruralpaymentsonline.com or phone 0845 601 7597.

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EPC’s

RICS has received confirmation from the government that the proposed changes to Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) will go ahead on 6 April 2012.

All agents should be receiving notification direct from DCLG with details of the Landmark service.

The government has set up a dedicated email address for enquiries: EPC.Enquiry@communities.gsi.gov.uk

The proposed changes will mean that there will be a requirement for the front page only of the EPC be 'attached' to sales and lettings particulars for all properties, both residential and commercial. RICS is seeking further clarification of how 'attached' will be defined.

For auction catalogues, the definition of what constitutes particulars, and therefore what documents require the attachment of an EPC, has not changed.

DCLG have set up a technical solution with Landmark to enable an EPC to be retrieved from the central register and attached to online particulars. This would be a 'free' service to agents registering for the scheme. This would mean that there would be no need for the agent to hold the information electronically within their own systems, but to simply provide the link to the centrally held document.

Where there is a need to preserve the anonymity of the property address, there will also be a facility to retrieve an EPC with the address removed. There will be a small charge for this service.

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National Planning Policy Framework for England

 

The Government has published the National Planning Policy Framework for England, which can be downloaded from the Department of Communities and Local Government
website
.

 

 

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Markets:

National Averages

Fat Cattle                                £1.91- £1.95/kg LW                Up 3p/kg LW on the week

Fat Lamb                                 £2.14/kg LW                            Up 1p/kg LW on the week

Feed Wheat                            £168/Tonne                             Up £4/Tonne on the week

Feed Barley                            £158/Tonne                            Up £1/Tonne on the week

OSR                                        £379/Tonne                             Up £9/Tonne on the week

November Wheat Futures      £161.70/Tonne                        Up approx £3.40/Tonne on the week

Currency:

1 Euro = 0.83357 British pounds, a slight decrease on the previous week

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