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ISSUE 19: November 30th 2018

Welcome to this week's TFA e-BITES

Get More Out of Your TFA Membership

As a member of the TFA, we can help you with all of the following and so much more:

Succession - Rent Reviews - Arbitration Process - Notices to Quit/Remedy - End of Tenancy Considerations - BPS/Countryside Stewardship Queries - Repair/Improvements Advice - Compulsory Purchase and Compensation - Planning Applications - Game Damage - Livestock Worrying - Applying for a New Tenancy

Even if you don't need specific advice on your tenancy, or information on the latest Government schemes, make sure you log onto our website regularly. You can find us here.

As a Member you can log on to our website using your membership number and postcode. Once you have logged in to the Members area of our site, there is a wealth of information on latest Government news, updates on Brexit and information on new opportunities. This includes farms to let across England and Wales within our Tenancy Opportunities area!

More information on this week's key updates, including these tenancy opportunities, can be found below after "This Week's Top News Bites".

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This Week's Top News Bites


Environmental Stewardship: HLS Extensions

The TFA, along with other industry organisations, have been requesting that HLS extensions are granted to address the gap of agreements between the historic Environmental Stewardship schemes and the current Countryside Stewardship scheme.

DEFRA are now in the final stages of negotiating details of the extension with the EU Commission. However, eligible agreement holders should have already been approached by their local Natural England project officer.

Currently the extension is only available for 2019 expiring agreements. However, the EU Commission have this week announced that agreements will only be offered on a yearly basis, rather than the four year extension proposed by DEFRA. DEFRA have confirmed to the TFA that they will challenge the decision. However, due to the limited window for an agreement to be reached, they may be forced to accept the EU Commission amendment or risk losing the extension offer all together.

There are a number of limiting factors that eligible agreement holders will need to take into consideration before signing the extension offer, including the payment recovery process. However, for those that wish to proceed we encourage you to return the Expression of Interest form as soon as possible.

Today is Your Last Chance to Register

Calling all Rural Payment Wales BPS claimants: those whose BPS claims have not yet been processed will have received a message from RPW today notifying you of this.

Therefore we recommend you register for a loan payment by 30 November to ensure a payment in December 2018. To register click here.

The House of Commons EFRA Committee Reports on the Agriculture Bill

The House of Commons Environment Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee has issued a report following its short scrutiny Inquiry into the Agriculture Bill.

The report picks up many of the points raised in evidence by the TFA and can be read by clicking here.

Lack Lustre Inheritance Tax Report from the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS)

Despite high hopes that we would see some significant recommendations coming out of the OTS report on inheritance tax, sadly it has failed to match expectations. However, we are told that this is just the initial report and a second report, coming at some point in the early part of next year, will have a greater focus on policy. Click here to read the initial report.

Cross Compliance 2019

There are no confirmed policy changes to the Cross Compliance rules for 2019. However, please bear in mind that for land that was entered in an NVZ for the first time in 2017, transitional arrangements have been in place to not meet some of the NVZ rules.

These arrangements come to an end in July 2019, when the requirement to meet all the NVZ rules starts on 31 July 2019. For more information please refer to the 2018 Cross Compliance Guide here.

HSE New Guide to Make Farms a Safer Environment

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has published an easy to use guide called ‘What a Good Farm Looks Like’ to help farmers understand and control the common risks to health and safety on farm. This covers everything from vehicles and machines to the use of pesticides.

In the event that a HSE inspector visits a farm, they will look at the topics covered in the guide and check that the risks are being controlled. Therefore, we urge TFA members to start to make farms a safer place today by printing off the guide, and making sure that everyone on the farm has their own copy and is following the guidance. A copy of the guidance can be found here.

And Finally...

BPS Payments – Watch Out for Fraudsters

As we head towards the opening of the BPS window, many farm businesses that receive payments will become targets of fraudsters. As publicity around payments increase, it is important that businesses stay vigilant. There is an increased likelihood that farmers might become easy targets for criminals.

Here are some top tips to ensure you do not become a victim of fraud:

1) Remember your bank, the police or the RPA will never ask you for online passwords, bank account details or for payments to be made over the phone.
2) You should never disclose your bank account details with any organisation representative over the telephone.
3) Look out for unexpected emails and, if in doubt, do not open or click on any links that are contained within.
4) Be on the lookout for emails from suppliers asking for payments to be made to a different bank account. If in doubt, contact the supplier via an authorised number to confirm bank detail changes.

If you feel you have been the subject of fraud, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 for 24-hour support and advice.

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Events Coming Up

Understanding Welsh Agricultural Tenancy Legislation with Farming Connect

In January 2019, TFA Cymru is working with Farming Connect to deliver a series of seminars across Wales about the intricacies of landlord/tenant legislation in Wales.

Speaking at these seminars will be George Dunn, TFA Chief Executive, and Manon Williams, Agri Advisor Solicitors.

All seminars will start at 7pm. Dates and locations are as follows:

4 January 2019 – Ivy Bush Royal Hotel, Carmarthen, SA31 1LG

10 January 2019 – Llanddewi Village Hall, Llanddewi, Llandrindod Wells, LD1 6SE

28 January 2019 – Glasdir, Plas yn Dre, Llanrwst, Conwy, North Wales, LL26 0DF

More details to follow about how to book places.

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