Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, TD, is reminding farmers that the closing date for the receipt of applications for this year’s Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) is Monday, May 15.
Minister Creed said, “I would like to remind farmers of the importance of this closing date to ensure they benefit from the maximum payment under their BPS. My Department is urging all farmers who have not yet submitted their BPS application to do so at the earliest possible date.”
Minister Creed continued, “Given the range of benefits which online applications provide for farmers, I would also like to encourage farmers to apply online via www.agfood.ie. In 2016, over 102,000 farmers applied online for their BPS, and this shows that more and more farmers are finding that the best way to apply is online.”
Farmers should ensure that they lodge their applications by May 15 in order to avoid penalties that must be applied where applications are received late. Given the significance of the Basic Payment to farm income, it is imperative that farmers allow themselves enough time to complete the form accurately and to make sure it is submitted on time.
The Minister also pointed out that online applicants will also get the benefit of preliminary checks, stating “these checks will allow farmers the opportunity to address any dual claims, over claims and overlaps identified on online applications within specified time frames after the BPS closing date without penalty. These checks are available for online applicants only. Last year, approximately 5,000 farmers got the benefit of a preliminary check.”
In light of the May 15 deadline, the Department has put in place a number of additional supports for farmers and agents as follows:
To assist farmers applying, a number of supports are being provided for farmers. Department staff are available at the following locations to accept paper applications or to sit down with farmers on a one to one basis and help them to submit their online application on the spot:At Government Offices in Portlaoise
Ø Between 9.30 am and 9pm from Wednesday, May 10 to Friday, May 12
Ø Between 9.30 am and 5pm on Saturday, May 13 and Sunday, May 14
Ø Between 9.30 am and 12 midnight on Monday, May 15
o At the Department’s offices in Farnham Road, Cavan between 9.30 am and 5.30 pm on May 10, May 11 and May 15
o At the Department’s offices in Derryhallagh, Drumshanbo between 9.30 am and 5.30pm on May 12 and May 15.
A dedicated telephone helpdesk is also available to assist farmers applying on line. The helpdesk can be contacted at0761 064420. This helpdesk will be available to farmers for extended hours in the run up to the BPS deadline. It will be open each evening until 9pm up to Friday, May 12, from 9.30am to 5pm on Saturday, May 13 and Sunday, May 14, and until midnight on Monday, May 15.