Farmers in England and Scotland have less than 48 hours to submit their Basic Payment Scheme applications to avoid penalties on their payments.
The claim deadline ends at midnight on Monday (15 June). Farmers submitting forms after this date will face reductions in payments.
For every day beyond 15 June a claim is submitted, the claimant will see a 1% penalty reduction of their payment – and after 10 July the claimant will have missed out completely.
To help farmers making BPS claims in England, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has extended the opening hours of some of its drop-in centres.
Farmers taking their forms direct to a drop-in centre will be offered a basic check-and-receipt service.
The check will ensure applicants have included their single business identifier (SBI) number, land data, filled in the active farmer section and signed the declaration.
“At this stage, farmers and agents are advised to hand in their claim form at their nearest drop-in centre or mobile support unit, rather than rely on the postal service.”
Justin Chamberlain, RPA
Agents with five or more claims should book an appointment via the Rural Payments helpline on 03000 200 301.
RPA customer director Justin Chamberlain said: “At this stage, farmers and agents are advised to hand in their claim form at their nearest drop-in centre or mobile support unit, rather than rely on the postal service. If you do decide to post, be sure to use a signed-for, next-day delivery service.
“If you have already posted your form to us, from this week you can now check if we have received it by using our automated service. Call our helpline on 03000 200 301 and have your SBI ready.”
Download the PDF of addresses and opening times of your nearest drop-in centres.
NFU Scotland chief executive Scott Walker said: “Scotland’s SAF [Single Application Form] deadline of 15 June is looming large and we continue to encourage those yet to engage in the process of registering online or completing their applications to crack on as soon as possible.
“It is worth reminding those still to start or complete their SAF that, while online applications are preferred, paper copies, including pre-populated forms, are also available at local offices if required.”