Technical problems are dogging the Entry Level Stewardship Scheme application process once again.

The Rural Payments Agency has confirmed that there is currently a problem with the interface between its map system and the system operated by the Rural Development Service.

The basic difficulty is that information about new field parcels is not being transferred across to the system used by the RDS to raise application packs.

This means if the RDS prints off an application form it does not contain all the latest information.

Fiona Howie, NFU countryside adviser, said she was advising farmers to get the RDS to talk through what fields it did have on its system before asking for another application pack.

“Ask the RDS [employee] to work through what is on the screen in front of them. There is no point in the RDS sending out another pack if it doesn’t have all the fields on.”

A spokeswoman from the RPA said the agency was working with the RDS to correct the situation as quickly as possible.