Rural Law

Farmers across the country need to submit their Single Application Forms (SAF) by 15 June 2015 to access funding from the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), Greening Payment and SRDP.

With the online system making the farming press headlines in recent weeks, farmers must bear in mind that the detail of the form – not only how and when it is submitted – is crucial. For many farmers, this will be the most important SAF submitted in many years and the consequences of getting it wrong could be disastrous for some farming businesses.

Tractor with trailer in a fieldFarmers who have been involved in land transfers and leases over the past months need to be aware of their route to obtaining new Basic Payment Scheme entitlements through the allocation process. In some cases it will be via a “private contract clause” in order to obtain an allocation based on another farmer’s historic claims, others will be looking to the National Reserve. The timings of submission of the forms involved, such as the Land Maintenance Form (PF06), Application for Allocation of Entitlements (PF10) and the SAF, is equally important. Farmers who have transferred land between 15 May and 15 June 2015 need to be aware of the payment gap for 2015.

With much of the debate circling around BPS, farmers are advised to think about the other schemes set up to support their business, including the Less Favoured Area Support Scheme (LFASS), Scottish Suckler Beef Support Scheme, Scottish Upland Sheep Support Scheme and the Forestry Grant Scheme when completing the SAF.

Brodies has been involved in a number of land transfers pre-allocation, working with agricultural agents, and we are gearing up for the post-allocation transfers to come.

Whether farmers choose to submit online or on paper, get it in and get it right. The dedicated rural team are on hand to assist if you have any questions during these last few days before the SAF window closes for the year.

Andrew Askew Blain

Associate at Brodies LLP
Andrew is an Associate in the Land & Rural Business team and is based in Aberdeen.
Andrew Askew Blain