FARMERS APPLYING for the national reserve are allowed to send copies of documents as evidence to support their claims, the Rural Payments Agency has decided.

It is a turn around for the agency, which had previously said that only original documents would be accepted as proof.

The documents are needed to back up farmers’ claims that their single farm payment history does not reflect recent investments made in the business.

If their claims are successful, they will receive a top-up boost to their entitlements.

A spokesman said the RPA had changed its mind after taking calls from farmers concerned that their documents could be lost.

A booklet detailing supplementary changes to the SP5 guidance notes to the printers, and copies should be with farmers soon, a spokesman said.