2,000 farmers miss deadline for BPS claims

Some 2,000 farmers in England are believed to have missed the 16 May deadline for 2016 Basic Payment Scheme applications.

More than 85,500 BPS 2016 applications were submitted in England before midnight on 16 May, says the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).

Based on last year’s figures, this suggests there are about 2,000 farmers who still have to apply.

See also: Defra has ‘no plans’ to extend BPS deadline

1% penalty

Farmers yet to submit a claim can still do so until midnight on 10 June. But they will incur a 1% penalty for each working day they are late.

Certain amendments can be made to applications until midnight on 31 May without penalty once a claim has been submitted.

For farmers looking to apply for new entitlements from the national reserve, applications made after 16 May will lose 3% for every working day.

In addition, Natural England has received 97% of Environmental Stewardship claims so far and more than 93% for Countryside Stewardship.

The RPA said it received more than 69,100 online applications for BPS 2016 ahead of the deadline. More than 16,400 additional paper applications were also received.

This latter figure may increase as the agency continues to collate applications received through its support centres and post during deadline day.

RPA chief executive Mark Grimshaw said he was pleased so many claims were received ahead of the 16 May deadline – and that three out of every four applications were submitted online.

“The Rural Payments Service worked well, and continues to do so to enable farmers to make their applications on time and to make certain changes without penalty until 31 May.

“I would urge anyone yet to make their application for 2016 to do so as soon as possible before 10 June so they don’t miss out.”

Use latest available information

The RPA is encouraging farmers who may have an outstanding query, or are waiting for the balance of their 2015 payment, to still apply as soon as they can.

They should use the latest information they have available.

Farmers yet to apply can get assistance at five online support centres open across England, via the Rural Services Helpline and advice and guidance available on Gov.uk.

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