SCOTLAND”S FARMERS risk losing their entire single farm payment entitlement if they fail to submit their IACS forms on time, NFU Scotland has warned.

“To be able to activate an SFP, farmers must complete their IACS forms, which include application for the single farm payment scheme, and return them by May 16, 2005,” said union policy director Scott Walker.

 A 1% penalty will apply for each day the application is late, with the final deadline 25 days after May 16.

 “If a farmer fails to establish entitlements in 2005, he will lose his SFP forever and his entitlement will go to the National Reserve,” he said.

Every year a number of farmers fail to submit their IACS forms on time, added Mr Walker.

 “And the first thing they know about it is when they don”t get a cheque in the autumn. This time it is absolutely vital that everyone gets their forms in on time. There is no appeal route – if your form is not in on time you will lose your SFP entitlement forever,” Mr Walker said.

 In Scotland, SFP will be worth about 350m this year. Deductions from that include 10% of past beef payments to fund the beef national envelope, modulation of 6.5% in 2005 and 8.5% next year, and at least 3% for the National Reserve.