Tipperary farmers are urged to apply for BPS well ahead of May 17 deadline

Tipperary Star reporter

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Tipperary farmers are urged to apply for BPS well ahead of May 17 deadline

Richard Kennedy

Tipperary farmers have been urged by the IFA to make their applications for this year's BPS well before the deadline of May 15.

FA deputy president Richard Kennedy led an IFA delegation to meet senior officials in the Department of Agriculture in Portlaoise on the 2017 Basic Payment application and associated issues covering inspections, processing and payments.

“IFA strongly encourages farmers to apply online as this speeds up processing and payments, and reduces errors. In addition, online applicants have the benefit of the pre-checking facility which is a major help,” he said.

Mr Kennedy also pointed out that the BPS scheme application covered the ANC application and is essential for all other schemes.

Last year, out of a total of about 124,312 eligible applications, 102,020 farmers applied online. This year it is hoped to increase that figure by another 10,000 to 15,000 applicants. By 2018 online application will be compulsorily for all applicants.

Out of the total of 124,312 eligible applicants in 2016, 99.4 per cent or 123,604 farmers have been paid €1.182b under the basic payment scheme and greening. Outstanding cases, as they continue to be resolved, are paid through twice weekly payment runs.

Mr Kennedy said IFA made it very clear to the Department of Agriculture that all payments must be made on time and in line with the deadlines set down in the Charter of Farmers Rights.

He said payment delays as a result of Department inspections were not acceptable and this was a particularly problem with satellite inspections last year.

He added farmers must be accurately informed if there is a problem or delay with their case so as issues can be resolved and payment delays avoided.