Single Applications need to be completed with urgency, says UFU.
The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) says DAERA have taken a common sense approach considering the current circumstances, and have extended the period for when farmers can amend claims without receiving a penalty to 9 June 2020. However, 15 May 2020 remains the closing date for Single Applications.
The UFU have been consulting with DAERA regarding Single Applications and are now asking farmers to fill out their application with urgency. Agriculture is a key part of the Northern Ireland economy and it is vital that if the food supply chain is to continue uninterrupted that farmers remain sustainable.
UFU president Ivor Ferguson said: “DAERA have taken a sensible approach deciding not to postpone the Single Application deadline as this could delay the annual October payments.
“However, they have extended the period for when farmers can amend claims without receiving a penalty to 9 June. The COVID-19 outbreak has stressed the importance of secure, domestic food supply and Single Farm Payments provide financial security for farmers enabling them to continue producing quality products.
“We can’t have a situation where payments are delayed as this would put farmers under financial pressure impacting the supply chain and the wider rural economy.
“Now farmers need to make their Single Application a priority. We encourage them to complete the form as soon as possible and submit it so that farm payments can be made in October 2020 as normal.”
The UFU are also encouraging members to use DAERA’s telephony service especially those who are in self-isolation, if they need help to complete their Single Application.