Somewhat of a backlog in the processing of herd number applications has been reported as young farmers attempt to full fill the eligibility criteria for key new schemes.

According to figures from the Department of Agriculture a total of over 4,200 applications for new herd numbers, or amendments to existing herd numbers, have been processed between January 1, 2015, and March, 31, 2015, which represents an increase of 80% on the same period last year.

It says every effort is being made at Local Office level to process applications as quickly as possible.

The surge in applications to be processed comes on the back of the huge interest in the Young Farmers Scheme and the subsequent requirement for many applicants to make herd number applications.

However, those applicants who don’t receive confirmation of the processing to their herd number before the May 29 deadline can still apply for the scheme.

It says as per the Terms and Conditions, to be eligible for the scheme, you must be the “holder of a registered herd number, or have applied to the Local DVO for a herd number on or before 15 May 2015”.

The Department of Agriculture has said the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) application form should be sent in before the closing date, and if the herd number is not known, put ‘Applied for’ on the Application form.

BPS Application forms for new entrants can be obtained from the Direct Payments Unit, by ringing the Lo-Call number for the relevant county.

The Department has also confirmed this week that applicants in this situation can also apply via the Departments on online facility

It says in a situation where a herd owner is registered on Agfood and has submitted an application to the District Veterinary Office to have a Young Farmer added to the existing herd number, the Young Farmers Scheme application may be submitted online even where the addition of the name to the herd number has not been processed.

It says the Department will associate the Young Farmers Scheme application with the amended herd number once processed.

The Department have also said a farm visit is undertaken for all new herdumber applications, while amendments to existing herdnumbers are generally processed without the need for a visit, in the context of disease-related controls.