Farmer at computer© Rex/FLPA

Farmers in England should receive an invitation to register for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) before the end of January.

Up until now the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) had been concentrating on getting land agents signed up to the new online system and about half are now registered.

But attention is starting to shift towards the wider farmer population and invitations to register on the digital-only platform should arrive before the end of the month.

See also: Farm leaders voice fears over BPS registration process

“Throughout the rest of January farmers who want to claim rural payments will be able to start getting online to register, check their business details and give people permission to be able to handle their 2015 Basic Payment Scheme claim,” said a spokesman.

Over recent weeks concerns have been raised about the complexity of the registration process, with some people reporting difficulties in getting their identities cleared using the Gov.uk Verify website.

A telephone system is in place for those people who find it impossible to register online, but the RPA still hopes digital registration will remain the main option for farmers.

The NFU has urged farmers to engage with the registration process well ahead of the 15 May deadline for submitting the first BPS claim.

It has pointed out that as part of the registration process farmers will be required to have an email address and answer a number of security questions based on their previous SPS claim history, so these should be to hand before registration.