Of the eight categories available for claims, the most important will close on Monday evening, including those for investors, new entrants and leased land.
David Siddle, a consultant with Andersons’ Penecuik office said: “Our impression is that every man and his dog has applied. So many of our clients seem to think they‘ve got a claim.”
As many as 80% of claims were in the investment category, where farmers had bought more land or put on stock since the reference period which determines support payments.
And though “quite a few” clients had been advised to drop their claims because of eligibility problems, farmers should not be put off, he said.
“The form is relatively straightforward to fill and lodge your claim, and SEERAD will get back to you for any further information. It’s not like writing a thesis.”
Larry Rosy, an official at SEERAD‘s CAP implementation team, said that 1723 claims had been received so far.
He predicted that 4000-5000 would be submitted overall, falling far below the top estimate of 9000.
“It‘s much better for the industry this way, because hopefully it means we‘ll stay within the 3% national reserve ceiling,” he said.
If the funds allocated for the national reserve are insufficient to meet the number of claims lodged, the single farm payment for all farmers will be trimmed to make up the shortfall.