CONFUSION OVER which code farmers should use on IACS forms to claim protein crop premium has forced the Rural Payments Agency to put out a guidance note.

The agency says the premium is available on both eligible and ineligible land and the procedure differs with each situation.

Producers claiming the premium on land claimed for Arable Area Payments should use the normal AAPS code from the 2003 IACS booklet in column M.

The new protein premium code (from page 14 of the 2004 IACS supplement) should also be entered in column T.

But farmers claiming protein crop premium on ineligible land should enter the protein premium code in column J if the land is claimed as forage or column T otherwise.

A spokeswoman said farmers should not panic if they had already entered the premium code in column M.

“If the producer has used the proteins premium code in column M this will be accepted as confirmation that they wish to claim both AAPS and the proteins premium payment.”

The appropriate box on the base form should also be ticked.