The Rural Payments Agency has fixed the euro exchange rate for this year’s single farm payment.
SPS payments for England are set in euros each year and then converted into sterling.
Due for payment in December, the SPS payment for 2013 was set at €1 = 0.83605. This compares to last year’s payment of 0.79805.
On hearing the announcement of the rates from the European Central Bank, Andrew Jamieson, agricultural advisor for H&H Land and Property, said: “While the rate is the fourth highest rate since the last reform process in 2005 and 4.76 per cent higher than 2012, it appears that for the first time since 2005, an EU financial discipline penalty of in the region of four per cent will be applied to all UK payments.”
The financial discipline penalty is EU-wide and is the mechanism that the European Commission uses to regulate its budget.
Andrew is keen to point out to farms that: “The deduction will be applied at the same time as modulation and appear on your December claim statements. So when looking at cash flow and budgeting, farmers would be wise to assume that payments will be at a similar level to that of last year.”
On announcing these details, the RPA also pointed out that every year some claimants fail to tell it of changes to their banking details, which causes delays in payments being made.
Andrew said: “If you have changed banks or altered accounts, it is important that you update the RPA with your details because we know that failing to do so really does result in a late payment.”