Farmers in Wales have received 70% of the total value of their Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payments in advance for the third year running.

The Welsh government paid more than £158m to 15,600 farms – 96% of eligible farms in Wales – on October 12th.

Farm businesses that have not received those payments from Rural Payments Wales (RPW) but whose claim is validated before December 15th will receive the advance payment too.

Farmers can expect to receive their full and remaining BPS 2023 balancing payment from December 15th if their claim has been fully validated.

NFU Cymru said the advance payments would provide a major boost to the thousands of Welsh farmers who are struggling with their cashflow because of significant inflationary pressures.

The level of ‘aginflation’ is running around 40% higher in 2023 compared to 2020, said the union’s president, Aled Jones.

Output prices have not kept pace with input prices, thus putting producer margins under pressure, he added.

Mr Jones said BPS payments provided stability for Welsh farm businesses and, as such, were as important now as they had ever been.

He insisted that the upcoming Sustainable Farming Scheme must maintain at least the same level of stability provided by the BPS, for all farm sectors and types.

“Farmers can only deliver for the environment and make investments to help achieve our 2040 net zero ambition from a position of farm business viability,’’ said Mr Jones.

He said he couldn’t overemphasise the importance of maintaining the BPS budget for 2024

“It is important to recognise that the budgets for agriculture remain at levels established a decade ago and, in that time, have not been adjusted for inflation.

“Taking account of inflation and using the Bank of England inflation calculator, the BPS should increase by £79 million from £238m to £317m just to stand still.’’