THE closing date for the 2018 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) applications is midnight on Tuesday, May 15th, 2018.
Eligible applicants should have received their information packs in the post from the Department of Agriculture in February. The major change this year is that all applications will have to be submitted using the Department of Agriculture online facility.
All transfer of entitlements applications must also be submitted using the online system. While the online system has been the norm for many farmers over the years, and is common practice with most advisory services, there are thousands of farmers nationally who have never used the online application system.
It is important that farmers who wish for an advisory agency to submit a BPS application on their behalf make contact with that agency as soon as possible, as they will need to be set up on that agency’s online system. For those who are already set up on the Department of Agriculture text system, getting set up on the agencies system can be quick. For those who are not, authorisation forms will need to be posted away to the Department of Agriculture, and this could take up to two weeks.
There is a National Reserve fund in place for 2018. An allocation of entitlements from the national reserve, or an increase in the value of existing entitlements may be made to an active eligible farmer under the terms and conditions of the National Reserve and Young Farmers Scheme. Details of these terms and conditions, including the supporting documents required to be submitted, are available from the Department of Agriculture website www.agriculture.gov.ie/farmerschemespayment.
If you need to register with an agency to submit an application on your behalf, and/or if there are changes to your herd number, entitlements or land, it is vitally important that you make contact with the agency in good time. Changes can be made to submitted applications, but applications submitted late will incur a reduction in payment penalty.
- Aoife Healy is a dairy advisor with Teagasc in Skibbereen.