Latest figures from the Department of Agriculture show that 100,448 applications to the Basic Payment Scheme have been made to date.

To date 68,997 online 2015 BPS applications have been received with a further 31,451 postal applications received.

Farmers are being reminded by Minister Simon Coveney that the date for receipt of applications under the 2015 Basic Payments Scheme (BPS) is May 29, 2015.

The deadline was extended by two weeks from May 15 to assist farmers and their advisors to prepare and submit BPS applications this year and to comply with additional requirements arising from implementation of the Greening Payment, the Minister said.

The Minister is also reminding farmers with specific Greening Payment requirements, organic farmers and those in partnerships that their applications must be lodged online in 2015.

Minister Coveney said that the continuing increase in the number of on-line applications is because of the benefits of iNet and that since the intoduction of iNet in 2007, increased numbers are being lodged online each year.

The Minister also reminded farmers of the importance of ensuring that their applications were submitted by the closing date of May 29 taking into account that farmers were applying for new payment entitlements under the BPS as well as payment under the 2015 BPS. In order to avoid late penalties that must be applied under EU rules.

“Unfortunately quite a number of applications are received after the May deadline each year and in some of these cases it is not possible to make any payment.

“Such penalties can easily be avoided simply by ensuring that applications are submitted on time.

“In an effort to increase awareness amongst farmers of the impending deadline of May 29 for the submission of applications, my Department will remind farmers by text to submit their applications on-time and to use the on-line facility for so doing,” he said.