Farm Matters Grid Layouts

Farm MattersWe are pleased to tell you that the latest version of Farm Matters (Version 2016.4.4) includes a new feature called grid layouts. This feature will allow you to have multiple layouts of a grid and switch between them easily. You could have one layout with columns switched on about breeding, another layout with the weight columns, another for medication, etc.

To switch on this feature load a screen such as On Farm andGrid Layouts go to Tools->Layout Selector. You will see a small toolbox appear called ‘Grid Layouts’. To create a new layout simple click the add button and give the new layout a name (Note: nothing will initially change on the grid). You can then move the columns around as desired for the new layout. If you then want to view the original layout simply select it from the drop down and the layout will change. There is no need to save layouts, this is done automatically when you leave the screen. You can call on the different layouts at any time. This is available on most screens inc. Cattle On Farm, Individual Sheep, Fields, Sales, Purchases, Treatments, Products, etc.

Tag-ie4 EID Reader

Tag-ie4 Handset

Tag-ie4 EID Reader

If you are looking for a easy to use and cost effective EID solution, Tag-ie4 is the answer. For only £250+VAT the Tag-ie 4 includes:
• Batching of tag lists
• Weights recording
• 4,000 tag capacity
• Lightweight & IP66 rating

Tag-ie4 is fully compatible with Farm Matters. The software can download data directly from the handset either into your events or to display on screen. History data can be uploaded directly to the handset from Farm Matters with a choice of what data to upload. For more details about Tag-ie4 or to order one, please contact Neil on 0191 3000 189.

The ‘Back to Paper Scheme’

Basic Payment Scheme SoftwareWe all though BPS stood for Basic Payment Scheme. Well it seems we were wrong … it appears it stands for Back to Paper Scheme! In an almost unbelievable turn of events DEFRA/RPA have admitted there new multi-million pound system which they have been working on for quite sometime is simply not yet fit for purpose.

Following last year’s problem with their SPS Online system being unavailable for periods (Please note our Single Payment software was fully functional during most of the down periods) this news will only serve to undermine confidence in the ability of RPA to produce a robost and reliable solution to subsidy claims. With the importance of these subsidies to farmers and the farm industry as a whole it is simply not acceptable to offer anything but the best service possible.

We hope RPA get the new system working and give claimants and their agents the solution they deserve. We are still hopeful of being involved with BPS next year but given the lack of communication from RPA we are still unsure.

Sheep Tagging Confusion

It has come to our attention that some sheep farmers think they need to record the individual chip number of slaughter/flock mark tags. This is not the case! The rule of thumb is you only need to record what you can see. The legislation is based on the visible identification at the point of the event.

Conversely some farmers think they don’t need to record when tagging animals with slaughter/flock mark tags. However it is a legislative requirement that all tagging events are recorded including slaughter/flock mark tags. This can be as simple as recording ‘250 x UK123456’ in your identification records (Section 3 of the Holding Register).

Farm Matters Tip: If you tag your animals as they leave your farm, you can simply enter the movement off/sale event into Farm Matters and answer yes to the ‘Record Tagging’ question. This will automatically create the identification records based on the tag numbers entered for the movement.

If you have any queries please get in touch.

RPA Sheep Inspections

This is vitally important that all sheep producers read this.

We have been made aware of many farmers having experienced full RPA sheep inspections. To our shock and dismay we learn that the inspectors are out sourced to a company called HallMark Ltd. This has unearthed rather dangerous results in the inspectors application of the legislation criteria and therefore is causing many false inspection issues and breaches of cross compliance.

One of the issues raised is the fact that sheep producers must present a copy of the Holding Register in original booklet form as supplied by the RPA.

It is NOT a requirement to have the manual Holding register completed as an addition to any correctly presented print outs or correctly presented records. This is NOT a breach of cross compliance and if this is suggested by the inspector we strongly recommend protesting this issue and informing the RPA of the matter.

We are confident that Farm Matters Software will produce the correct records for RPA sheep inspections in accordance with cross compliance and government regulations.

If you have any experiences like this or wish to discuss the matter please get in touch.

Attention all sheep farmers out there…

Here at Farm Matters we are eager to promote our software solution but also advise all our customers on a regular basis about queries and problems we are finding with the industry, particularly confusion caused by crazy legislation and inspection worries.

A current issue seems to be the confusion of sheep record keeping, ARAMS and general identity issues. Well here are the basics which may help people make things a little bit more straight forward and clear.

A sheep can run around on the farm until it is 9 months old without any tag in its ear. When it becomes 9 months or it has to be moved to a new holding number irrelevant of distance it must be tagged. This tag can be a single slaughter tag EID chip number included but not visible or a double EID visible tag(s).

Basically if you intend to sell the sheep slaughter then a single EID slaughter tag is fine. If you intended to keep for breeding or the animal becomes older than 12 months it needs a double EID tag (s).

You do not have to record every separate tag when you move sheep in your keeper ship between holdings but you do need to keep a record of the flock numbers.

we can advise that anyone buying or selling a large number of mixed sheep with EID double tags needs to buy a EID reader, this can then be downloaded into the Farm Matters software and populate the tag identification element of your records.

There are many more issues regarding sheep legislation so if you need any advise just get in touch.

No Basic Payment Scheme Software!

Farm SoftwareWe are very sad to announce we will not be releasing any software for the electronic submission of Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) applications in 2015. DEFRA in their wisdom have decided to exclude us from the electronic BPS project this year due to what they claim is a lack of financial resources.

This will leave the DEFRA website as the sole means of submitting your 2015 BPS claim (For those unable to submit online DEFRA claim there will be a contingency but what form this will take remains a mystery). After piloting electronic SPS in 2008, it’s inaugural year, we have consistently been involved with e-SPS and submitted the most claims by a third party software supplier each year.

Our customer base have been very supportive of the software and service we’ve provided and are very disappointed by DEFRAs decision to exclude us. As several customers have said, let’s hope the new system being developed is alot more reliable then RPAs was last year.

DEFRA have indicated they will be happy to work with us next year in preparation for 2016. Hopefully this is true and we will be back!

RPA – Reason for faulty SPS Online found but online applications still up

With over 100,00 claims submitted and over 100 a day still being received RPA have proudly informed stakeholders that this year will see approximately 70% of all submissions being made online (3.5% of those come from our Single Payment Supervisor software as RPA include these in their online figures). This is another big step in RPA’s vision of getting everything happening online.

It’s not all good news though, with RPA informing us that the, at times severe, problems they were having with their SPS Online website were in fact caused by a corruption in file transmission whenever RPA issued an update. Attempts by RPA to keep customers informed were in fact contributing the continuation of the problem. RPA have acknowledged that this caused significant issues but it will still leave a shadow of disappointment for those left racing to submit forms at the last minute.

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Single Payment Scheme – The End

Single Payment Supervisor The submission deadline passed on 15th May with the final deadline of 9th June quickly approaching. Anyone who has not submitted a claim should do so as a matter of urgency, the penalties are relatively small at 1% of your payment per day late. This year spells the end of the Single Payment Scheme as the new Basic Payment Scheme will finally come into operation.

Initially introduced in 2005 the Single Payment Scheme replaced the many and varied existing subsidy schemes. The scheme saw a gradual transition from payment based on production to payment based on hectares. Some farmers saw there subsidy increase while other saw it reduce over the years, but one thing all agreed was that the new scheme was simpler than it’s predecessors. In 2008 an electronic submission method was trialled with ourselves submitting the first ever SPS application using our Single Payment Supervisor software. RPA have encouraged adoption of online services over the last six years with 2014 seeing a high proportion of SPS submissions being made electronically. Despite the serious technical problems encountered by RPA this year, online services have (in our estimation at least) been a success in helping to improve the efficiency of RPA and offering the modern tools expected by farmers & land agents these days.

Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), with it’s Digital by Default policy, Identity Assurance approach and new rules promises to be as different as it is familiar. We are working alongside RPA to develop our software package ready for the challenges of BPS. This year saw ~3.5% of the nation’s submissions made using our software, we hope to continue our tradition of being at the forefront of electronic subsidy submissions.

Good bye Single Payment Scheme,
Hello Basic Payment Scheme.