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At least a month before England sees its Single Payment cheques

by 5m Editor
16 January 2006, at 12:00am

UK - Farmers in England will not see their single farm payment until the second half of February at the earliest. The news has emerged in the same week that a farming helpline reported calls were on the rise because of farmers becoming desperate about SFP delays. The Rural Payments Agency claims it is still on target to begin full payments in February, but it is likely to be toward the end of the month. &quot;The position on payments remains as it has been for the last year - we are targeting the commencement of payments in February,&quot; said a spokesman. &quot;Our plan is to definitively establish entitlements in the middle of the month (14 February) and begin payments towards the end of it. There is still a significant amount of processing work to be completed; therefore we remain committed to keeping the industry informed over the next month on progress. &quot;We have also developed a contingency plan to make partial [60%] payments, and this option is being kept under constant review.&quot; The guidance on when payments are likely to start came as RPA chief executive Johnston McNeill appeared before the environment, food and rural affairs select committee to give evidence on the issue. Mr McNeill was joined by junior DEFRA minister Lord Bach, who said that although he expected payments to start in February, he could not give a definite yes or no. <i>Source: FWi</i>

5m Editor