Basic Payment Scheme and Greening (Wales)
Basic Payment Scheme and Greening (Wales)

The following Property guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Basic Payment Scheme and Greening (Wales)
  • Introduction
  • Eligibility
  • The active farmer test
  • Eligible land
  • BPS entitlements
  • Cross compliance
  • Degressivity
  • Greening
  • Greening practices or equivalents
  • more

Brexit: The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020. This has implications for the schemes providing for agricultural subsidies in England and Wales, which will no longer be derived from EU Common Agricultural Policy. We will introduce content to address the new regimes once the legislation (including the Agriculture Bill) has been enacted.

Introduction

Pillar 1 of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) allows farmers in Wales to receive direct subsidy payments under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), which started in 2015. The BPS replaced the Single Payment Scheme (SPS). The BPS involves three compulsory direct payments:

  1. a ‘basic’ BPS payment

  2. a ‘greening’ payment, and

  3. a top-up payment for young farmers

Eligibility

A farmer qualifies for the BPS if they:

  1. are an ‘active farmer’

  2. have at least five hectares of ‘eligible’ land

  3. have at least five BPS entitlements

The active farmer test

A farmer must be engaging in pro-active agricultural activities on at least 50% of their ‘agricultural area’ (ie the area declared in their direct payment claim). There is a ‘negative list’ of activities which do not qualify as ‘agriculture’.

There are exceptions for a farmer who received a direct support payment in the previous year which amounted to at least 5% of their receipts from non-agricultural activities, or whose agricultural activities accounted for at least one