Going back to basics this month will save time later in the year
Published 06/01/2016 | 02:30
The new year brings new opportunities and, undoubtedly many resolutions. Sometimes it can be hard to get the system going to think about the coming year particularly when income prospects do not look good and especially if there was an over indulgence during the Christmas period.
There is no doubt that the extremely wet weather over the last two months has added to farmers' difficulties and will certainly affect enthusiasm going forward for those people who were affected by flooding.
Nevertheless, as the saying goes, this too will pass and life goes on and opportunities will again present themselves from the most unlikely sources.
Being prepared is vital if opportunities are to be grasped.
Now is the time to set out your plan for the year. Very little is as important now on the farm as planning and submitting your Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) application which entails, among other things, satisfying the three crop rule and having sufficient ecological focus areas (EFAs).
This is the one job that can be done effectively at this time of the year and does not involve wellies or raincoats. A few hours spent considering your options, particularly talking to your advisor or consultant, will be time well spent and save time later when field work is more important.
Many farmers experienced delays obtaining BPS payments for 2015.
Much of this was blamed on the changed CAP and the new rules and regulations that arose. To date, I understand that there are less than 3,000 who have yet to obtain any payment unfortunately this does not give the full picture as there are many who are still to be paid the bulk of their entitlements.