Payments for farmers who carry out eligible agricultural activities, what you need to know and do before you can apply for an annual payment.
Applies to England
BPS 2023 entitlement rates
The BPS 2023 entitlement rates have been announced.
Entitlement values for 2023
For 2023, there is no change to the BPS entitlement rates.
To find out how payments are calculated, read the ‘Payments, Reductions and Penalties’ section of the Basic Payment Scheme: rules for 2023.
Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) is the largest rural payment scheme providing financial support to the farming industry. Farmers can apply once a year between March and May. Rural Payments Agency (RPA) will pay farmers with eligible applications in 2 instalments:
- an advance payment of approximately 50% of the claim value from 1 August 2023
- a balance payment from 1 December 2023
You’re eligible to apply for an annual payment if you’re a farmer who:
- produces, rears or grows agricultural products – this includes milking, harvesting, and breeding and keeping animals for agriculture
- keeps some land suitable for grazing or cultivation – that means keeping it clear of dense scrub
You must have at least:
- 5 hectares of eligible land at your disposal on 15 May 2023
- 5 ‘entitlements’
BPS is due to end after the 2023 scheme year.
Apply for BPS 2023
BPS closed for 2023 applications at 11:59pm on 9 June 2023.
Applications received after 9 June 2023 will be rejected (apart from cases of force majeure and exceptional circumstances).
Remember, to be eligible for delinked payments you must claim, and be eligible for, BPS payments in England in the 2023 scheme year (except for some inherited land).
The deadline to add or delete common rights was 11:59pm on 9 June 2023.
You need to follow the BPS 2023 scheme rules to receive a payment.
Check your mapping data
RPA needs to make sure that all land data is up to date. We do this by checking the digital maps and updating them if necessary.
If we tell you about a change, it’s your responsibility to check your digital maps and tell us if you do not agree with a change that we’ve made. This includes eligibility checks and changes we may make to land data on common land. The eligible area of a common will alter as physical changes take place on the common. Check the latest commons eligibility data for land area changes.
Request a mapping change or transfer entitlements
You need to keep your mapping up to date or tell us about changes to entitlements. Read the guidance on how to request changes to maps in the Rural Payments service or to transfer entitlements. Use the Rural Land and Entitlements form (RLE1) to tell us about these changes.
How land management agreements affect BPS
You must have declared on your BPS application:
all of the agricultural land on your holding
any non-agricultural land you use for a land management agreement, such as Countryside Stewardship, Environmental Stewardship, or certain nationally funded woodland creation schemes
Follow the guidance to comply with BPS funding rules if you’re an agreement holder of other land management schemes.
Woodland and BPS
Find out how the BPS rules affect agroforestry – where trees are deliberately combined with agriculture on the same piece of land.
Woodland grants and BPS
Land under a woodland grant may be eligible to be used with entitlements for BPS. Read Guidance on woodland grant schemes and BPS: operations note 42, providing supplementary guidance for woodland grant agreement holders.
Land use codes 2023
See the land use codes you should use to declare land in your BPS application.
Financial ceiling for 2023
Find out the amount of funding available for BPS 2023.
Previous BPS years
Use the National Archives website look back at BPS scheme rules from 2015 to 2022.
Understand progressive reductions
RPA is phasing out Direct Payments in England from 2021 to 2027. Our approach is designed to help everyone manage the transition away from Direct Payments as smoothly as possible.
We’ll apply reductions to the total payment you would have been due in each year, including the total BPS payment (and any young farmer payment, if applicable).
We’ll invest money saved by the reduction in Direct Payments into new schemes to support farming and the countryside, such as the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) and the Farming Investment Fund (FIF).
Use the progressive reductions calculator
Use the online calculator to find out how progressive reductions could affect your BPS payment for scheme years 2021 to 2023.
How delinked payments will replace BPS
BPS will end after the 2023 scheme year. RPA plan to replace the BPS in England with delinked payments in 2024.
You must claim, and be eligible for, BPS payments in the 2023 scheme year to receive delinked payments for 2024 to 2027. You must also meet the other rules for delinked payments.
When payments are delinked, you will not need any land or entitlements to receive the payments. This will simplify the payments as they are phased out by the end of 2027.
How HMRC treats subsidy payments
Your grant and subsidy payments are paid before tax is taken off. You may need to tell HMRC about these if you or your business pay UK tax. For more information, read HMRC’s Business Income Manual BIM40451 - Specific receipts: grants and subsidies. If you have an accountant, you should also discuss this with them.
Support for farmers
There are confidential services offering support for farmers.
The Farming Community Network
The Farming Community Network (FCN) provides free and confidential pastoral and practical support to farming families during times of stress and anxiety caused by problems related to the farming business or the farm household.
The helpline is open from 7am to 11pm every day of the year. It is staffed by a team of volunteers who understand farming issues.
Telephone: 03000 111 999
Farming Advice Service
The Farming Advice Service (FAS) provides free, confidential technical and business advice to farmers on:
- cross compliance
- water use and quality
- pesticide use
Telephone: 03000 200 301 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm)
Farming Resilience Fund
Basic Payment recipients can get free advice from organisations during the changes in farming, supported by the Farming Resilience Fund.
Prevent financial fraud against your farm business
You need to be aware of financial fraud and take measures to prevent it if you’re receiving large sums of grant money.
How we handle your data
Defra is the data controller for personal data you give to RPA. Read the RPA personal information charter to find out how we handle your data.
How to complain
Follow the complaints procedure if you’re unhappy about a decision made by RPA.
You can contact RPA by email, phone or post.
Rural Payments Agency
PO Box 352
Telephone: 03000 200 301
Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm, except bank holidays
Find out about call charges
Please quote your single business identifier (SBI) and agreement number in all enquiries.