Farmers in England are reminded that the deadline for the return of the SP5e form, which supports National Reserve applications, is just days away.

The RPA has said the forms must be returned by Nov 4, because after that date NR applications will be assessed upon the evidence available.

“Where there is insufficient evidence to support any individual category applied for, RPA will assume that the application to that category of the National Reserve is not being pursued.”

RPA wrote to all National Reserve applicants during the first two weeks of October, enclosing a form SP5e.

The form highlights the type of documentation that can be used to support National Reserve applications and gives an opportunity for supplementary evidence to be provided.

The form also gives farmers the chance to formally withdraw all or part of their application if they so wish.

For further information applicants should look at Section F of the SPS Handbook and Guidance for England 2005 Edition or visit the RPA website, www.rpa.gov.uk to view the latest National Reserve Frequently Asked Questions.

Johnston McNeill, chief executive of RPA, said: “We want to ensure that all National Reserve applicants are given the opportunity to present their case in full, including relevant supporting information.

“However, we need to urgently process applications and farmers can help us to make payments as early as possible within the payment window by sending in the necessary information before 4 November.”