The Farming Social Hub - a voice for the farming community

Early payments to help farmers weather cashflow issues

The government is planning to bring forward direct payments as part of its pledge to support farmers at a time when cost pressures are very high.

Instability across the globe, high energy costs and labour shortages, plus climatic change have all combined to put huge pressure on some farming operations. By bringing forward this years Direct Payments, the government hopes to help farmers manage their cashflow.

The deadline for submitting Basic Payment Scheme 2022 applications is Monday 16 May 2022 and, under these plans, farmers with eligible applications will receive the first payment of 50 per cent from the end of July and the second from December.

With agricultural commodities closely linked to global gas prices, farmers are facing rising costs for inputs including manufactured fertiliser, feed, fuel and energy. Due to heightened worldwide demand as the global economy reawakened following Covid, by February the price of gas had quadrupled on the previous year, and with the instability caused by Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine that price has risen further.

Output prices, particularly wheat, are also high and from analysis published by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) it is clear that farmers should continue to buy their inputs as usual. The steps government is taking to bring forward payments will allow them to do so.

This latest support stream builds on a package of measures to support farmers announced in March, including: a delay to changes to the use of urea fertiliser by at least a year; revised and improved statutory guidance on the Farming Rules for Water; slurry investment grants to help meet those rules; and further details of the Sustainable Farming Incentive which will reward farmers for manufacturing more organic-based fertiliser products.