Farmers have until midnight on 15th May to submit their application for the 2018 Basic Payment Scheme.
From 16-31 May, certain changes can be made to submitted applications without penalty. However, late applications, which can be submitted up to 11 June 2018, will be subject to penalties. After that, applications will be rejected unless exceptional circumstances apply.
The Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) is the biggest of the European Union’s rural grants and payments to help the farming industry under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). It replaced the Single Payment Scheme in 2015.
In England, the BPS is administered by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA), which is an executive agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
To qualify for BPS payments, a farmer must have at least five hectares of agricultural land that is used for an agricultural activity all year round. If they have land which is used predominantly for agricultural purposes, they can still claim but the payments will be reduced.
Farmers must also meet ‘cross-compliance’ requirements. Cross-compliance requires farmers to demonstrate that they are keeping their land in ‘good agricultural and environmental condition’ and that they are complying with a number of specific legal requirements, known as ‘statutory management requirements’.
To apply online got to www.gov.uk/rural-payments