Farmers have been asked not to contact the RPA’s Customer Service Centre during the next month unless asked to do so, or for an entitlement transfer form.

DEFRA has announced that the CSC will not offer a service to deal with payment and entitlement queries until 6 March.

The CSC wants to keep its phone lines as free as possible for the next few weeks, so it can concentrate on completing outstanding validations.

The NFU has pointed out that there will be people who need to appeal – for example those who have had national reserve allocations but haven’t had an explanation as to how the calculation has been made.

“We have advised members to appeal – but to do so in writing,” said a spokeswoman.