From December, the Euro exchange rate for calculating Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payments in 2016 will be €1 = £0.85228
BPS payments for England are set in Euros and then converted into sterling using an average of the European Central Bank exchange rates set in September.
What does this mean?
This is the highest rate set since 2010, which is good news for UK farmers.
The fall in the pound means BPS payments are expected to be worth approximately 16.54 per cent more this year compared to payments in 2015.
In context, a farmer receiving £10,000 in 2015 will now receive much closer to £11,654. This will affect around 16,500 farmers who opted to receive their 2016 BPS payments in sterling.
Using this chart, you can work out approximately how much more you will receive this year:
|BPS payment in 2015||New BPS payment in 2016|
What is the Basic Payment Scheme?
The BPS is the biggest of the European Union’s rural grants and payments to help the farming industry.
Farmers with at least five hectares of agricultural land and five “entitlements” can apply once a year – usually in May – with payments beginning in December.
If you haven’t applied for payments in 2016, you should begin to prepare your application for 2017.