Sheep grazing on a Welsh farm© Food and Drink/REX

Welsh farmers are being urged to use the Rural Payments Wales (RPW) online system – if they are in a position to do so.

As farmers in Wales start to receive their Single Application Form packs through the post, Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) president Emyr Jones said the RPW online single application system was working exceptionally well under the circumstances.

See also: No SFP deadline extension in Northern Ireland

“Obviously the online system is not for everyone, and there is still a lamentable lack of broadband availability in some areas, but we would advise all those who are in a position to use the system to do so.” 
Emyr Jones, Farmers’ Union of Wales president

“Obviously the online system is not for everyone, and there is still a lamentable lack of broadband availability in some areas, but we would advise all those who are in a position to use the system to do so,” said Mr Jones.

There were problems with the online system and the union was in talks with Welsh government staff to resolve them, said Mr Jones. But those issues were “minor” in the grander scheme of things compared with the risks of making errors on the paper form.

With regard to the possibility of extending the 15 May application deadline by a month, Mr Jones said the FUW remained in talks with the government. But farmers should still try to complete forms as soon as possible, he added.

“We certainly feel it would be pragmatic to extend the deadline, but this has to be weighed up against the impact of delaying form processing by a month and the effect this could have on cashflow from December onwards if payments are delayed.”