Sunday, 4 March 2012

Forms to Fill to Farm

There's numbers for every thing, for this that and tuther,
Field numbers map numbers, farm references to cover.

On the first day of March 2012 my Single Farm Payment (SFP) application arrived along with yet another 30 page supliment on glossy pages of updates and changes, to be filled in and sent back by mid May. That is if there are no changes to the mapping of the fields and farm.

Forms get ever longer and more complicated and more and thicker booklets to explain how to proceed, all in thicker almost glossy paper. The offices are massive and palatial, with no cost spared, the computers are up to date but not up to the mark, and staff seems demoralised and not motivated.

Who am I talking about, the RPA.

We are told to conserve energy save costs, told to cut back on inputs, told to cut back on labour, told to modernise and get computer literate, and were told it will save on paper if its all done on line but even more explanation booklets drop through the door in ever bigger piles to tell us how to do that.
Where will it end, even the BCMS computers not up to scratch right at the moment, perhaps teething trouble on the change over from the old site, but then it sounds as I am making excuses for them.

Another session of re-mapping and re- numbering of fields, all done from satellite observations, often mistaking boundaries, with mistakes again to be corrected. Some have been allocated a fields way out in the North Sea, and others a field located two counties away, such is the chaos that's called RPA and DEFRA.

Fields increasing in size by 0.005 Ha or decreasing by some similar ridiculously small areas, all balancing out to around the same total farm hectareage as before they started. Cost of the exercise, tremendous, benefit to the farm and country minimal, all done to make those in the ivory towers feel that they are in charge.

Forms to Fill to Farm

Could do without all these forms, that we're filling in,
One a mistake and it goes, bottom of the bin,
Ring to find out information, five options listen to,
Then they ask for ya SBI, nine digits read back to you,

Could do without printouts, that are misleading and all wrong,
Whole lines that are missing, a field it does belong,
Bar codes to stick on every paper, that you have to send,
Sketch maps for part fields, got to sign and amend.

There's numbers for every thing, for this that and tuther,
Field numbers map numbers, farm references to cover,
SBI and there's IACS, vendor as well,
PI and a Trader, and Stewardship numbers to tell.
( thats nine numbers up to here)

A blend of every complication, regularly emits,
Consistency is very rare, though updating, it exists,
So come on RPA, get your office sorted out,
Try to give us confidence, n' see what your about.

Clear your desk of backlogs, pay us up to date,
Let us get on with work, which is inside our own gate,
Food and fuel getting short, let us fill the empty plate,
Be proud of what were doing, before more of us vacate.


First I do not sit down at my desk to put into verse something that is already clear in my mind. If it were clear in my mind, I should have no incentive or need to write about it. We do not write in order to be understood, we write in order to understand.Robert Cecil Day Lewis