A total of 85,178 farmers submitted their Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) claim by the midnight deadline on 15 June, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has confirmed.
In addition, 183 farmers submitted their BPS claim between 16 June and 23 June - the first week of a penalty window during which farmers can still submit claims but face a one percent penalty for each working day the claim is late.
The penalty window ends on midnight 10 July and the RPA is contacting customers who have been emailed a BP5 form but are yet to make a claim. The Agency is also contacting customers who are eligible to apply but have not yet submitted their claim or registered on the Rural Payments system.
The RPA is also sending agents reminders about the late claim penalty period and the 10 July deadline from 29 June.
Speaking at the National Farmers Union (NFU) Council meeting, RPA Chief Executive Mark Grimshaw said:
“The RPA has provided an unprecedented level of support and help to farmers claiming for this year’s BPS. I’m very grateful for the support the NFU, other membership organisations, the wider industry and farming media have given us over the last few weeks in getting information out to claimants.
“I would like to take this opportunity to remind those who would still like to claim, or those who would like to make changes on claims they have submitted, that they can do so until midnight on 10 July.
“Forms and guidance are still available on the GOV.UK website and the helpline is ready to take your call.”
Support is still available
Farmers needing help and support can continue to call the Rural Payments helpline on 03000 200 301, Monday to Friday, 8:30am-5pm.
Six drop-in centres also remain open until 10 July. They are located at RPA offices in Newcastle, Carlisle, Workington, York, Reading and Exeter and are all open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. Farmers can hand in their BPS application forms, RLE1 forms and other documents, get a receipt and get help to register online. Agents with five or more claims need to book an appointment by calling the Rural Payments helpline.
Blank forms can be printed off from GOV.UK.
The latest information on how to claim or amend applications in the penalty claim period can also be read at www.gov.uk/rpa/bps.
There has been a great response from farmers and land managers putting in their claims for legacy agri-environment or woodland grant schemes.
Customers who have not yet submitted their annual claim forms are reminded that they can claim up to 10 July - and are encouraged to submit their applications as soon as possible because there is a one per cent penalty for every working day a claim is received after the 15 June deadline. They can contact Natural England or the Forestry Commission if they need assistance.
Natural England and the Forestry Commission continue to do whatever they can to help those who still need to send in their claim forms.