Q&A guide to plans to reduce direct payments

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Our expert advisers have produced a comprehensive Q&A document to help guide members through the plan to reduce direct payments to farmers in England between 2021 and 2027.


We refer within this guide to the phrases ‘direct payments’ and the ‘Basic Payments Scheme' or 'BPS’.

These mean slightly different things, which is important to note when we refer to delinked and lump sum exit payments.

Direct Payments

This is a form of support payment given to eligible farming businesses. In the main this is in the form of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) today. They were first introduced under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in the mid-1990s to compensate farmers for reductions in the value of market price support that existed at the time, Arable Area Payments and Single Payment Scheme being earlier examples.

Basic Payment Scheme

This is currently the main delivery model for essentially direct payments in England. It is or has been made up of three elements:

  1. BPS payment entitlements
  2. Greening
  3. Young Farmer Scheme.

Where can I get more advice?

You should seek professional help when considering future business plans as a result of the progressive reductions to direct payment. This advice will need to come from a range of professionals.

You can contact NFU CallFirst on 0370 8458458 and speak to our advisers who can put you in contact with our expert panel of land agents or legal panel firms.

As well as the support available from the NFU, Defra is also offering a Future Farming Resilience Fund support package which gives free and confidential advice to farmers receiving BPS.

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