Farming Today came to NFU HQ yesterday to record Mark Grimshaw’s session at NFU Council.
'Frustrated farmers force the head of the Rural Payments Agency to face the music' was featured on today's programme which you can listen to again on the BBC site here (8 mins 35 secs).
Speaking at NFU Council, Mark Grimshaw said: "Over 85,000 farm businesses have so far been registered onto the Rural Payments System. We've emailed out pre-populated claim forms to 68,000 registered customers and for all those where an email did not get through we have made arrangements to send them by post, 12,500 will be sent through the post to those who are currently unregistered and they should receive those by the end of the month. And, quite encouragingly, we have received 2,271 claims as of yesterday morning (20 Apr)."
The deadline for claim submissions is now 15 June 2015, with a late claim date (which carries a penalty) of 10 July 2015. Our message is that claimants should submit their claim as soon as possible so that payments can be made as early as possible. Entitlement transfers have also been extended to 15 June.
NFU Council’s general feeling was one of concern, frustration and the need to clarify the position in order to get down to the business of correct form completion in good time.
Questions from Council delegates included:
- The need to complete an RLE 1 to map out ineligible field areas.
- Printing claim forms and the correct approach to printing.
- Not receiving emailed application forms.
- Status of long term grass margins in arable fields.
- Pre-populated data and maps being incorrect.
- Clarity over guidance versions.
- Possibility of partial payments.
- Location of drop-in centres and gaps in coverage (Isle of Wight).
- Greening estimator.
- Penalties levied on farmers claims due to change in application process.
- What is the future of ‘digital by default’?
- Sheep EID.
- What support do drop-in centres offer?
This was the first time Farming Today have recorded from a main Council session and the second consecutive appearance for Mr Grimshaw at NFU Council.