Crucial form-filling deadline looms

BUCHAN farmers are being reminded that crunch time is fast approaching for them to complete and submit their annual application form for Scotland’s various support schemes.

The NFUS says that all claimants should submit their completed Single Application Form (SAF) - either through Rural Payments Online or to their local SGRPID area office - on or before Tuesday, May 15 to receive full payments.

Accurate completion of the SAF form is crucial if farmers and crofters are claiming support under the Single Farm Payment Scheme (SFPS), Scottish Beef Scheme (SBS), Land Managers Options (LMO), Less Favoured Area Support Scheme (LFASS), or Rural Development Contracts - Rural Priorities (RDC-RP).

NFU Scotland’s director of policy and regions, Jonnie Hall, said: “It is easy when attention is still focussed on lambing, calving or spring field work to forget that the annual May 15th SAF deadline is looming but finding some time to ensure your application form is completed accurately and submitted on or before that date would be time well spent.

“The onus remains on the applicant to ensure all the relevant information is provided on the forms and that it is accurate. This is always a concern and a worry for many but the sooner farmers start the process of completing their forms, the sooner any queries or issues will arise, allowing time to approach SGRPID if clarification is needed.

“Given that the SAF is the claim form for SFPS, LFASS and RDC-RP annual recurrent options, and the land declarations for the area-based options of the LMO, it is hugely important to many Scottish farming businesses. All Scottish producers seeking support via these schemes know that and can play their part by filling out forms as accurately as possible, thereby significantly reducing the risk of either payment reductions or penalties.”