FARMERS WHO had land taken out of production under statutory authority during the reference period (2000-2002) have just a few days left to submit a hardship application.

DEFRA has reminded producers who lost land eg for the laying of a pipeline, that they may qualify to have their reference amount based on any unaffected years of the reference period.

This would be under the force majeure or exceptional circumstances provisions.

But the deadline for applications to the Rural Payments Agency is Wed (Dec 1).

*DEFRA has also produced a new Question and Answer briefing note about the set-aside rules which will apply in 2005.

The Q&A can be found on its website www.defra.gov.uk/farm/capreform.