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Registration for the new Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) is now formally open to all farmers in England, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has announced.

By 3 February, more than 22,500 farm businesses – about a quarter of eligible farm businesses in England – had registered for the online payments service.

With just 100 days to go until claims must be made, the NFU is urging those who haven’t registered to do it now.

See also: Six steps to preparing for BPS registration

NFU senior BPS adviser Richard Wordsworth said: “Working with the RPA, the NFU has emailed and texted members in the recent weeks urging them to register so that they can in turn start the process of building up their first BPS claim.

“All those wishing to claim BPS need to register and that includes those that have already registered for Single Payment Scheme (SPS) online or for that matter used an agent to help with SPS last year.

“Further functionality will be going live in the coming weeks, but do not delay the registration process.”

Farmers can register for BPS online or by calling the RPA helpline on 03000 200 301. The helpline is open Monday to Friday (except bank holidays) from 7am-6pm and Saturday and Sunday from 8am-2pm. 

Claimants must ensure they have their SPS information to hand as it will help to answer registration security questions.

They will also need to have a password and an email account ready to use. 

The registration process must be completed within 12 hours of the phone call by logging on to the RPA website

For farmers who are still facing difficulties with registration, the RPA has set up 50 support centres across England where farmers can get one-to-one help.

However, to access these centres, farmers must first call the RPA helpline.