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Single Farm Payments Start on Time

04 December 2012

SCOTLAND, UK - Farmers throughout Scotland can look forward to a cash boost as vital Single Farm Payments begin to arrive in bank accounts today (Monday, 3 December).

Around 14,200 producers will receive their Single Farm Payments today - an increase of around 4 per cent on 2011 - injecting approximately £303 million into the rural economy. This is the first day payments are permitted by European regulations.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “Scottish farmers have had a challenging time this summer, coping with this year’s record rainfall and sometimes difficult harvest. That is why, this year more than ever, this Government has done all it can to ensure farmers receive their Single Farm Payment as promptly as possible. I’d like to thank the many staff who have worked hard to ensure so many payments can be made today.

“In the current economic climate these support payments are vital for Scottish farmers, making the difference between profit and loss for many farm businesses. So this year’s payments should be seen as clear evidence that this government is supporting Scotland’s farmers in tough economic times.

“Our priority now will be to work with producers to resolve any problems and pay remaining claims as quickly as possible. I would urge all concerned to ensure that they respond promptly to any requests that will help us to settle their claims.

“Scottish farmers can also get early access to payment information - up to a week before it goes into their bank - by registering online. Signing up for Rural Payments Online also allows claimants to apply online, with 24 hour access, instant receipts and dedicated helpdesk support. Even if you didn't submit your application online, it's not too late to benefit.”

Payments are being issued to producers who have successfully passed the Scottish Government’s eligibility checks. Because of European Commission conditions attached to payments, farmers and crofters who have outstanding inspections or other eligibility issues cannot be paid until these have been resolved.

The Single Farm Payment Scheme is the replacement for historic arable and livestock direct support schemes. Farmers applied for the Scheme in May 2012.

The European regulations fix a payment window that means payments can be made between 1 December and 30 June in the following year.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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