Farmers who wish to transfer entitlements ahead the introduction of the Basic Payments Scheme on 1 January 2015 need to get the paperwork to the Rural Payments Agency by 19 October 2014.

DEFRA has issued a guidance booklet that sets out some of the key dates farmers will need to know as it rolls out the new CAP scheme.

The agency says it must receive RLE1 forms by midnight on 19 October and the “effective date of transfer” must be on or before 1 December 2014.

See also: Key questions on dealing with CAP reform

However, it is less clear on issues such as greening, where it admits: “There’s still a lot we don’t know about the greening rules, but we’ll explain them in more detail this summer.”

The booklet, CAP Reform Countdown: An introduction to the new Common Agricultural Policy schemes in England, is being sent to more than 110,000 farm businesses.

Farm minister George Eustice said: “We are determined to implement the CAP in a way that is as simple, affordable and effective as possible and are working together across DEFRA to help people understand how the reforms will affect them, what they need to do and when, and how to get more information.

“DEFRA has worked hard over years of negotiations to get the best deal possible for the UK’s farmers, rural communities and the environment. Our aim now is to ensure everyone who wants to apply for a share of these CAP funds is able to do so quickly and simply and that the countdown to the new CAP is as smooth as possible.”

Mark Grimshaw, chief executive of the RPA said: “This implementation is being done in a very different way to last time because the system is being built in stages. Therefore, the transition will be an evolving process.

“However, there is action farmers can take, and decisions they must make, throughout the coming months to ensure they are ready to apply in 2015 for the new schemes. They will need to play their part in making sure the information we hold is accurate throughout the year.”