21October2017

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Forestry and the Basic Payment Scheme

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Having a forest on the farm can be an excellent alternative enterprise. Before deciding to establish a forest on the farm, it is essential to consider all implications.

A prime example is how forestry interacts with the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS). By adhering to strict criteria, many applicants can continue receiving BPS entitlements on the afforested land.

To retain the Basic Payment on the land, the land in question was declared on a 2008 SPS application form and the applicant who declared that land on a 2008 SPS application form was paid under the 2008 Single Payment Scheme. In addition, the land was eligible to draw down a SPS payment in 2008.

In order to continue to be regarded as an active farmer for the purpose of retaining eligibility for BPS, at least 10% of the eligible hectares declared in 2008 must be retained in an agricultural activity subject to a minimum area of three hectares.

In the case of a new entrant to farming, then the minimum area to be retained in an agricultural activity will be fixed by the Department on a case by case basis.

Don’t forget that the closing date for BPS applications this year is Monday 15 May.Don’t leave it until the last minute, do it now!

A much more detailed guide to forestry and the BPS can be found here.

Source: HortiTrends News Room