The Farming Social Hub - a voice for the farming community

Confidence crisis as payment reality bites

There is an air of doom over parts of the farming sector as the triple impact of Brexit, phasing out the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and the impact of Covid-19 hits home.

A survey released by the National Farmers Union (NFU) suggests that more than three quarters of farm businesses are expecting the removal of the BPS to have a negative impact on their business. The survey follows a call from the NFU for the government to invest in rural communities with enhanced broadband access, improved connectivity and a clamp down on rural crime.

NFU President Minette Batters, quoted in the Farmers Guardian, said: “The fact that both short- and mid-term confidence has remained negative since 2018 is very telling of the uncertainty and challenges farmers continue to face.

“Farming is a long-term business. Confidence in our businesses is absolutely crucial if we are to continue to be productive and profitable and the driving force behind sustainable, climate-friendly food production around the world.

“It is not surprising that the phasing out of BPS is the top concern among our membership. Some farmers are already seeing payment rates being reduced, without any new schemes to replace this income and a lack of detail about the interim and future schemes.

“Not knowing what kind of standards will be involved in these future schemes makes it very difficult for farm businesses to plan for the future.”