5 April 2002

IACSforms soon

ABOUT 3300 farmers waiting to receive their IACS forms should get them after the weekend, according to the Rural Payments Agency.

The agency has said that all of the forms for forage-only forms and most of the main forms have already gone out. On Wednesday (Apr 3) there was just 3364 farms ready to post.

Allowing for the post these should arrive by Monday or Tuesday of next week, said a spokeswoman.

Paul Ibbott, NFU chief arable adviser, said forms usually arrived at the end of March so the union had been monitoring the situation closely.

It was important farmers had the forms in plenty of time so they had an opportunity to fill them in, he said. "It all takes time when there are plenty of other things such as lambing and spraying going on," he said.

Mr Ibbott said the union was also keeping an eye on whether postal workers will decide to strike following announcements that Consignia are to cut 15,000 jobs.

If that happens the NFU may press DEFRA to extend the deadline for forms beyond May 15. &#42