May 17 is the deadline for farmers to declare the land they are farming in the year 2021 in order to receive BPS monies in October/December.
Philip O’Connor, Head of Farm Support, emphasised that BPS is ‘crucial’ to the financial viability of a lot of farms.
“It can bean incredibly stressful time for farmers. If this application is incorrect, monies are withheld until next October/December”.
Philip advises farmers to ask themselves and their agri advisors a number of questions before submitting their applications, including:
Am I farming more/less land than last year?
Am I leasing in/out land that wasn’t previously on an application?
Have I leased in/out the BPS correctly with this land?
Have I bought/sold/inherited/gifted land in the last year and transferred in BPS correctly?
Have I declared all of the land I am farming correctly on my BPS application?
Have I changed the farming structure - Limited Company, Registered Farm Partnership, Joint herd number?
Philip also advises employing a good agri advisor to help complete the application; making sure both the agri advisor and the farm’s accountant are aware if BPS is being transferred to a new entity as this can lead to all sorts of complications, and, finally, to make sure to allow enough time to complete the application and not leave it until the last minute on May 17th