Don’t hang on for IACS 22 forms: RPA

FARMERS WAITING for IACS 22 forms to be processed should not hold back their SFP application form (SP5), the RPA has urged.

The agency has admitted it is dealing with a backlog of 19,000 IACS 22 forms, and processing of these will not be completed until June or even July. “Farmers mustn”t wait for an IACS 22 to be processed,” said a spokeswoman. “They should fill in the application to reflect the situation on the ground as of May 16, 2005. We will make any changes later on, after we”ve worked through them.”

 The advice to farmers who felt they had inaccurate digital maps was similar, she indicated. They should enter what they considered the accurate position on the Field Data Sheet and include a covering letter explaining why they had done this.

The spokeswoman said that by April 11 the agency had received 3867 SP5 applications, but 777 (20%) were returned because of errors (see box).

 But she pointed out farmers would not be penalised if they left spaces for County Parish Holding (CPH), trader or vendor number blank.

Existing RPA customers will have a CPH number and should find a trader number on RPA payment advice notes. But the agency has said they are not essential.

The NFU wants a dual-application process for the Entry Level Scheme. Andrew Clark, head of policy services, said it would help producers if they could sign up land that was mapped now, and add land once their outstanding IACS 22s had been dealt with.

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