Since the Rural Payments service went live for 2016 BPS over a fortnight ago, thousands of farmers and agents have logged on, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) said.
RPA chief executive Mark Grimshaw said: “The Rural Payments service is working well and about 10,000 entitlements and more than 31,000 hectares of land have been transferred so far. Anyone who wants to submit an application for the 2016 Basic Payment Scheme can now do so.
“Farmers and agents can log into the service to check details, make any required changes, complete declarations and submit an application.”
Applicants can view and print their application and, if no changes are required, they can make their declarations and submit it online.
Those who need to make changes can update their application, check it is correct and submit it online.
Submitting applications online has a number of benefits. Applicants will immediately receive confirmation that their application has been submitted successfully.
They can also print their application for their records. The Rural Payments service will make checks before the application can be submitted, which will help applicants get their data right.
The service includes built-in checks to give applicants guidance on meeting greening rules, completing information about their land correctly and making the right declarations.
It is important to have a full and accurate email address on the Rural Payments service as this is how the RPA will be keeping applicants informed.
Full ‘how to apply online’ guidance is available on GOV.UK and around 18,000 paper application packs are being sent to those who have not applied online before.
Farmers who receive these pre-populated forms on paper can still apply online in 2016. They need to call the Rural Services helpline on 03000 200 301 to set up an online application.
Help is also available to farmers and agents on the helpline number above and at support centres across the country. To make an appointment farmers and agents should contact the helpline.