Scottish Basic Payment Scheme Update 2024

11 March 2024

BPS 2024

Update April 2024: The latest information on BPS for 2025 can be found here.

Basic Payment Scheme 2024
The Basic Payment Scheme 2024 continues as per previous years, and payments remain unchanged.

Basic Payment Scheme 2025
The Basic Payment Scheme 2025 payments will be unchanged, although new conditionality will be introduced in anticipation of the new agricultural reform in 2026.

It is not yet known if all or only some of the following conditions must be met in 2025. However, failure to meet these will equate to 50% of payments. The conditions set out on SGRPID’s Rural Affairs website (Agricultural Reform Route Map) are:

• The introduction of new protections for Peatlands & Wetlands;
• New conditions to the Scottish Suckler Beef Support Scheme linked to calving intervals (encouraging a reduction in the emissions intensity of their cattle production systems)
• The foundations of a Whole Farm Plan, including:

    • Soil Testing,
    • Animal health and welfare declaration,
    • A Carbon audit for the business,
    • Biodiversity audit and
    • ‘Supported business planning’ – Business plan?

It is unknown whether the audits/interventions will be required before BPS forms are submitted on 15th May ’25 or prior to any payments being made. However, it is clear that in due course, all of the above will become mandatory to receive payments.

It is our opinion that, at the very least, for 2025, as they have made funding available to facilitate these, the above three audits/interventions will be required, with perhaps the remainder being put on hold. However, with no confirmation of this, we can only assume, until told otherwise, that all are to be required.

Current support
The Preparing for Sustainable Farming (PSF) scheme, established through the National Test Programme, encourages farmers and crofters to contribute to Scotland’s emergence as a pioneer in sustainable and regenerative agriculture.

Essentially, the funding motivates applicants to prepare for the changes ahead, offering funding towards:
• Carbon Audits
• Soil Sampling and Analysis (must include carbon testing)
• Animal Health and Welfare Interventions

For full guidance on Preparing for Sustainable Farming, click here.

This funding is scheduled to stop after the 2024 claim period. Therefore, we would urge applicants who are not already undertaking these practices to instruct these works before the funding ends.

The Farm Advisory Service (FAS) offers a broader range of funded outcomes, including Carbon Audits, Integrated Land Management Plans, and specialist advice reports such as nutrient management plans, succession planning, and carbon audit action plans for those wishing to explore further ways of improving business efficiencies.

For further information on the Farm Advisory Service, click here.

Although this service offers a range of options, the FAS does not offer grants for soil analysis or animal health and welfare interventions. Furthermore, from our experience applying on behalf of clients to date, we have found the PSF route is more straightforward to apply for and quicker to receive the funding.

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