Prompt SFP Sought to Ease Farm Cashflow Woes

NFU Scotland has sought reassurances from the Scottish Government that 2012/13 Single Farm Payments will begin at the earliest opportunity.

NFUS is supporting the approach that would see farm businesses receive 100 percent of their SFP with the payment run starting on 1 December 2012.

Given the ongoing problems with weather, protracted harvest and soaring feed bills, some members have been looking for NFUS to push for an advance payment, however, discussions with Scottish Government suggest that a maximum of up to 50 percent of SFP could be paid late October or early November at the earliest, with balance payments delayed until sometime in the New Year.  Delaying SFP balance payments until that time could have implications for the Less Favoured Areas Support Scheme payments which traditionally are made in the spring.

NFU Scotland Chief Executive Scott Walker said:

“It came as little surprise to the Scottish Government that we are receiving calls from members, many of whom are toiling with poor harvest conditions and escalating feed costs, about an advance on the SFP. The bad weather continues and farmers are facing extra feed costs going into the winter.

“We have spoken to the Scottish Government about an advance and we recognise the potential problems that would arise with going down this route.

“If an advance were to be made it would likely mean only up to 50 per cent of an individual's money being paid three weeks before the payment window opens on 1 December. The balance would come some time later in 2013 and there could be implications for the timing of the LFASS payment.

“On balance, we believe that the best thing is for the Scottish Government to ensure that 100 per cent of SFP is paid out to as many farm businesses as possible when the payment window opens on 1 December.

“However, CAP reform discussions present the opportunity to put a better payment system in place in the future. The Scottish Government have agreed to press, along with NFU Scotland, for a change in the payment rules that would allow a 90 per cent payment of SFP to be made to everyone as soon as the payment window opens regardless of whether the inspection process is completed. If the inspection process has been completed for the farm, then the full payment should be made.

“Cash flow could be an issue for some businesses during these next few months and if members are having difficulties with their banking provider or suppliers, I would urge them to get in touch with NFU Scotland to see if we can assist. We would still welcome additions to our banking survey to help inform our work in this area.”


  • Members can complete NFU Scotland’s banking survey online at:
  • The survey, which can be completed anonymously, asks how long the business has been with its current bank, details on its overdraft limit, arrangement fees, interest rate on overdraft, recent rate changes and any banking issues.


Contact Sarah Anderson on 0131 472 4108

Date Published:

News Article No.: 90/12

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