Scots farmers advised to submit 2021 BPS claims early

Scottish farmers and crofters have been urged to submit their 2021 basic payments claims as soon as possible to avoid late payments.

The submission period for the Single Application Form (SAF) scheme opened on Monday 15 March and will close on 17 May 2021.

Rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing urged farmers and crofters to submit their SAF 2021 applications as soon as they can. “Please don’t leave it to the last minute. The sooner the better,” he said.

See also: Scottish fund increase for women’s practical ag training

  SAF applications can be submitted online or by filling out a paper application.

This is the last year for paper SAF applications.

Meanwhile, the vast majority of farmers and crofters in Scotland have received their 2020 basic payments four months ahead of the 30 June deadline.

The Scottish government said almost £400m of Pillar 1 payments have landed in the bank accounts of 16,931 farm businesses.

This equates to just over 97% of eligible applicants and more than 95% of Basic Payment Support (BPS), greening and Young Farmer payments (YFP) being paid, four months ahead of regulatory requirement.

Mr Ewing said: “Scotland’s farming community has worked hard, putting in long hours and days throughout lockdown to keep food on our plates.

“The global impact of the pandemic has highlighted the importance of food supply chains and should remind us all not to take food and food security for granted.

“Now, more than ever, it’s crucial we keep money flowing into our rural communities and keep funding our crofters and farmers.”

BPS, greening and YFP payment runs started on 3 December, with the first payments reaching bank accounts on 14 December 2020. 

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