Deadline looming for BPS applications, as close to 90% of farmers apply online

There are just a few days left for farmers to complete their Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) applications; the deadline is set to close at midnight on Monday, May 15.

Close to 90% of farmers have preferred to submit their applications online this year, figures from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine show.

As of Wednesday, May 10, the department received a total of 92,404 online applications to the BPS scheme. Over 12,000 paper applications had also been submitted.

Department officials are encouraging any farmer who has yet to complete their application to do so as soon as possible.

This year farmers are allowed to submit their applications in paper or online format. However, it is believed that applications to the BPS scheme will have to be submitted 100% online from 2018 onwards.

About 124,312 eligible applications to the BPS scheme were received by the department last year, according to figures previously released by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

Out of these eligible applications, 102,020 farmers applied online, the IFA added. This meant that 82% of applications were submitted online in 2016.

When the 2017 BPS scheme opened for applications earlier this year, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, announced that he hoped to build on the recent growth in online applications.

This year the department organised a number of meetings with farmers across the country, to help them with any difficulties they were having with their applications.

Meanwhile, the maximum payment that can be granted to any one farmer under the BPS scheme (excluding the Greening Payment) in Ireland in any one scheme year is capped at €150,000, Minister Creed said.

The EU regulations allow for a sliding scale of reductions above this €150,000 threshold, and Ireland implemented a 100% reduction, thus setting the cap at the lowest level allowable, the minister added in a recent response to a parliamentary question.

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