Last day for BPS applications as deadline closes tonight

Farmers who have not yet submitted their Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) applications are urged to do so ahead of midnight tonight (Tuesday, May 15), which is when the deadline for submissions closes.

The number of online applications has now surpassed the 100,000 mark, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed confirmed last week.

The final day of a series of BPS online application clinics, which took place around the country, is being held in the Department of Agriculture offices in Derryhallagh, Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim today until 5:30pm this evening.

Meanwhile, department staff have also been assisting farmers in making their BPS and transfer of entitlements applications in the department’s offices in Portlaoise, Co. Laois, in recent weeks.

Deadline extension called for

Yesterday, Fianna Fail spokesperson on agriculture Charlie McConalogue called for the deadline to be extended.

Deputy McConalogue made the call in light of the fact that this year is the first in which BPS applications must be made online.

Consideration must be given by the department to the fact that this is the first year that BPS applications must be made online.

“Consideration also needs to be taken of the recent pressures placed on farming families as a result of the fodder crisis – which may also have prevented some farmers from focusing on making their application until now.

“The EU Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan has already confirmed that there is flexibility for member states in extending the deadline for applications.

“Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed should make use of this flexibility and extend the deadline for at least one week.

This will give any farmers that have not made their application some breathing space to get their applications in order.

“Considering that direct payments are a vital source of income for Irish farmers, making up 75% of farm incomes, the prudent thing is to extend the deadline,” deputy McConalogue said.