Be aware, that time is ticking away, time stands still for nobody.

And the time has come to return your valid, completed Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) application, if you have not already done so.

The Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) is in its second year, having replaced the Single Farm Payment (SPS).

A large part of your future farm income is dependent on submitting a valid BPS 2016 application form to the Department of Agriculture, the Marine and Food, by Monday, May 16, 2 016, with the BPS, ANC, REPS 4, AEOS, DAS, DEP, GLAS and forestry schemes, etc, all linked to your BPS 2016 application.

Is the application process different this year?

The BPS application form is basically the same as last year.

However, all documentation received concerning your application needs to be checked over.

You may be a winner or a loser, as your entitlements value converges towards the national average.

Examine your BPS 2016 form carefully, and familiarise yourself with the Terms and Conditions.

View your personal details, tick boxes and answer all questions.

Sign and date your form (not needed if your application is done online).

Check over land parcel details and maps.

Are all the boundaries marked correctly on maps?

Have you excluded areas of scrub, ponds, rock outcrops, buildings etc?

Are your forestry plots included?

Have you ticked parcels involved in AEOS or REPS or GLAS?

Check the value of the entitlements on the form against the value stated on the convergence letter received previously.

A final definitive letter will be issued to all farmers by the Department of Agriculture in early May.

Grassland farmers must tick the box on the front page referring to the Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme (which replaces the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme).

My farming circumstances have changed, what should I do?

If there is any problem, or change involved, for example, change of ownership, transfer of entitlements, sale/ purchase/lease of land/ entitlements, tillage parcels etc., seek the assistance of a Teagasc Adviser or Agricultural Consultant.

Don’t delay. Make your appointment now.

Farmers participating in the GLAS scheme must make an online BPS application.

What are the changes in entitlements?

The main change this year is that entitlements can now be leased without land. Up to now, you could only lease entitlements with land. There is no rotation of entitlements: that is, you must use 100% of your entitlements once every two years, otherwise you will lose undeclared entitlements.

Previously, if you used 50% or more every year, you wouldn’t lose entitlements.

50% claw-back applies to sales of entitlements without land.

There is no consolidation of entitlements (even where land is lost, for example to a Compulsory Purchase Order.

What if I get someone to complete my BPS application?

If you have nominated an agent to complete your application, it would be important to do the following before your appointment:

Check land parcel maps for accuracy.

Check statement of entitlements, either the provisional or definitive statement, if you have received it. If there are errors, they need to be checked out.

Familiarise yourself with terms and conditions.

Bring a copy of last year’s BPS application.

Have land parcel maps and LPIS details of any additional land, whether rented, leased, inherited or purchased.

What do I do when I have the form ready?

Take responsibility for your own BPS form. Keep a copy of your application form and any documentation or amended maps sent to the BPS Unit. Retain all copies carefully.

If posting the BPS forms or any associated documentation to the DAFM, then you must do it via Express Post or Registered Post. A certificate of postage is no longer acceptable.

If submitting the BPS form online, ensure you receive back a printed, dated receipt from the BPS Unit website, or make sure you get one from your Agent.

Local Department of Agriculture offices will not accept BPS applications or associated forms/documentation in 2016.


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