More than 10,000 2017 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) applications have been submitted since the application window opened on 1 March, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) announced today (4 April).
The RPA is encouraging farmers to apply online now, to ensure that their application is submitted before the deadline.
Applying online means that farmers and agents can quickly check and update existing personal and business details, as well as view and transfer land and entitlements.
Last year the RPA received a record 80% of applications online and almost 7,000 farmers and agents have started an online application for BPS 2017.
RPA Interim Chief Executive Paul Caldwell said:
More and more farmers and agents are using the Rural Payments service to apply online. Some 1,500 entitlements have been transferred online so far.
Throughout the application process, help and support is available through our online guidance, ‘How to’ videos and by telephone.
Online and paper applications
Anyone who applied online for the Basic Payment Scheme in 2016 has been emailed all they need to apply online for BPS in 2017. Those who did not apply online in 2016 and did not use an agent have been sent a paper form and guidance on how to apply online.
Support available from the RPA
Farmers and anyone helping them with their claim can find step-by-step guides on transferring land, transferring entitlements and a general overview of how to apply online in useful ‘How to’ videos. Further guidance and scheme rules can be found on GOV.UK.
On-screen help is also available, going through the application process screen by screen. A copy of this on-screen guide is also available for download or print.
The application deadline for BPS 2017 is midnight on 15 May 2017. Late applications will be accepted until 9 June but will incur a penalty. More information on how to claim or amend applications in the penalty claim period can be found in the Key Dates section of the 2017 guidance.