According to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), more than 3,300 farmers have already made the decision to submit their Single Application earlier this year, a threefold increase on March 2016.
To date, approximately 1,300 farmers have made the switch to an online application in 2017.
Completing the Single Application is one of the most important tasks that farmers do each year and DAERA’s clear message to producers is: complete your application early and check that all information is correct.
The online application system is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will contain all the farm business information, which is easy for applicants to check.
There are a number of steps to completing the on-line Single Application. This year’s closing date is May 15. However, farmers are strongly advised to take steps now to complete their application and if necessary avail of the help options available from DAERA.
A key requirement will be for farmers to tell DAERA what is different for 2017. Changes can be easily flagged up on-line. As a result, they avoid any issues or delays with subsequent payments.
To complete applications on-line, farmers must log in to DAERA Online Services at www.daera-ni.gov.uk/onlineservices using their Government Gateway ID and password. There is also guidance on this webpage on how to register for a Government Gateway ID.
Online help is available. Farmers can also use web-chat to interact with their advisors online, as they complete their applications.
Producers can also view their farm maps online and make any changes they need to land details. Once an application is submitted, map changes are automatically submitted as well. There is then no need to complete a paper LPIS change form.
If there are no land changes to be considered then applications will be very straightforward to complete.
If land changes result in an updated Maximum Eligible Area the system will show this as unverified on farmers’ field data table.
It’s then simply a case of updating the areas being claimed for Basic Payment and/or Areas of Natural Constraint to make sure they don’t exceed the amended MEA.
Once DAERA has checked submitted map changes and accepted these, farmers will be issued with an Area Record Form with a verified MEA.
DAERA has also confirmed that it will again be hosting SAF Awareness Workshops this year. These must be pre-booked by calling 028 71 319955. Many attendees complete their application on the night.