- Examine your previous BPS forms (particularly 2017) carefully and compare with 2018 for potential changes that are required or made by DAFM
- Familiarise yourself with the Terms and Conditions
- Check over land parcel details and maps
- Are all the boundaries marked correctly on maps?
- Have you excluded areas of scrub, ponds, rock outcrops, buildings etc.? Are your forestry plots included? And are Forestry parcels given a claimed area where necessary (not 0.0ha).
- Does area claimed for GLAS actions match the GLAS plan itself, for area based options such as Low Input Permanent Pasture, Wild Bird Cover etc?
- Check the number of entitlements on the form against the total claimed area. Have you enough land to cover all entitlements?
- Grassland farmers must tick the box online referring to Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme (ANC)
- Keep a print-out of application and file away if not familiar with online system.
Changing Herd Number:
If there is any particular problem or changes involved e.g. change of ownership, transfer of entitlements, sale/purchase/lease of land/entitlements, tillage parcels etc., seek the assistance of a Teagasc Adviser or Agricultural Consultant.
In a change of registration of Herd Number situation, the local District Veterinary Office (DVO) office has to be contacted first with ER1 application form and supporting documentation supplied. Do this in time so as to give the DVO a chance to process new Herdowner details. Then the Department’s online services section needs to be contacted in order to put your details online. Change of Herd Number will usually lead to a Transfer of Entitlements been required; they do not transfer automatically as is often assumed.
For Transferring Entitlements, again both sides (Transferor and Transferee) must be set up online. The transferor initiates the process. The transferor signs a Transferor Confirmation Signature Form, the adviser witnesses this signature; this is uploaded and generates a Transfer Key Number. This Transfer Key is like a code, it’s used by Transferee (and/or Transferee advisor) to complete the Transfer.
For 2018 we are now calling Auctioneers involved in Transferring Entitlements ETFs, this stands for Entitlement Transfer Facilitators.
Where there is an Auctioneer (ETF) working on behalf of the Transferee, an ETF Authorisation form is signed (witnessed by adviser) and uploaded by the Transferor (and/or Transferor’s advisor). Then the auctioneer (ETF) takes over to complete the transfer.
The rules for the Young Farmer Scheme and National Reserve are the same as last year (Terms and Conditions are available on Department website). The deadline is also the 15 May and is applied for online. The young farmer needs to be aged 40 or under for whole of 2018 calendar year and have received the appropriate Educational Qualification. A gross off farm income limit of €40000 applies to the National Reserve. Applicants can use either the full 2016 or 2017 tax year, whichever is the most advantageous. Again, contact adviser if required or in doubt.
There is a lot of useful information on www.agriculture.gov.ie such as a list of Agencies that can handle BPS applications nationally and also, the dates and times of the list of BPS clinics that the Department are holding around the country. These are taking place in most counties, to handle queries on any BPS issues. They started on Tuesday 3 of April and are running until the 3 May. The closest one to the Tuam area for local farmers is in the Ard Ri hotel on Tuesday 24 April from 4.00pm until 7:30pm
- If you intend to get help completing your application form for the Basic Payment Scheme or any of the other CAP schemes, it is important that you make an appointment with your Teagasc Advisor or Agricultural Consultant immediately.
- Beware of the deadline; it’s less than six weeks away.
- Everything is online this year. Are you aware and prepared for this?
- If you are aware of neighbours or relatives that need informing of online requirement this year, then please do so.
Glen Corbett, Teagasc Adviser, Galway/Clare Region