Latest figures from the Department of Agriculture shows that over 20,000 Basic Payment Scheme applications have been made.

It says to date 16,678 Basic Payment Scheme applications have been made online, while 4,122 paper based applications have also been received by the Department.

The Basic Payment Scheme and Greening Payment replace the Single Payment Scheme in 2015 and a new set of payment entitlements will be allocated to those eligible to take part in the scheme.

Recently Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, confirmed his intention to extend the closing dates for receipt of applications in respect of the Basic Payment Scheme.

The closing date for the Basic Payment Scheme is now May 29.

The Minister said the extension will 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 Scheme.

In fixing the new deadline, the Minister said that he was mindful of the need to provide additional time for the submission of applications, while at the same time ensuring that sufficient time is given for the processing of applications to facilitate early payment to applicants.

Basic Payment Scheme details

To be eligible to take part in the scheme an applicant must be an active farmer who holds an allocation right and must submit a Basic Payment Scheme application in 2015.

Direct Payments to eligible farmers will be based on the value of their Basic payment scheme entitlements together with a Greening payment and payment on any other associated scheme that the farmer participates in.

The number of entitlements that will be allocated will be determined by the number of eligible hectares declared by the farmer in 2013 or 2015, whichever is the lesser.

The value of entitlements that will be allocated will be based on a fixed percentage of the value of Single Payment Scheme entitlements owned by the farmer in 2014 and any payment received under the 2014 Grassland Sheep Scheme.

A definitive calculation of the number and value of entitlements cannot be issued until all land is declared and accepted as eligible in 2015.