Farmers who have been contacted by the Department of Agriculture about queries in their Basic Payment Scheme application are being urged to respond without delay by the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney.

The Minister said that these applicants are urged to respond to queries without delay in order to ensure the prompt issue of payments when these commence on October 16, 2015.

Coveney said that the Department has received approximately 135,000 applications and processing of these applications is underway.

“The applications include those submitted by individual farmers, farm partnerships and cases where a son or daughter was added to the herd number,” he said.

The Minister said that if any errors or queries are discovered during the processing of the applications, the applicants will be written to by the Department and for farmers to respond without delay to ensure the issue of payment.

Earlier this year the deadline for Basic Payment Scheme applications was extended by two weeks from May 15 to May 29 to assist farmers and their advisors to prepare and submit BPS applications and to comply with additional requirements arising from implementation of the Greening Payment.

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.

This was 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,” the Minister said at the time.