With the final deadline to apply for the 2016 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) less than a fortnight away, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is urging farmers to apply as soon as possible before midnight on 10 June. Farmers still to apply for BPS this year incur a 1% penalty for every working day it is received after the initial 16 May deadline. For those looking to apply for new entitlements from the national reserve, the penalty rate is 3%.

A range of support is on hand to help farmers still to apply including a dedicated Rural Services helpline 03000 200 301, five online support centres, various guidance videos and on-screen help as well as a useful ‘Hints and Tips’ document.

For those still wanting to submit on paper form, the last day to request one from the Rural Services helpline is Monday 6 June.

Online applicants can easily check their claim has been received by clicking on the ‘Apply for BPS’ screen on the Rural Payments service. Receipts are also being sent out for applications submitted by paper.

Claimants can still make certain changes; including adding, increasing the area or changing the ‘land use’ of a land parcel and increasing the number of entitlements they want to use, but a penalty may now apply.