The Government has confirmed the window to submit applications for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and make a claim for Countryside Stewardship (CS), Environmental Stewardship (ES) and woodland legacy revenue payments will be extended by one month.

In light of the disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak, farmers and land managers will now have until June 15 to submit their applications without penalty. This will give farmers and their agents an extra month to submit applications and claims, helping them to avoid penalties for late applications.

Farmers and land managers are still encouraged to submit claims and applications, in particular online for BPS and CS through the Rural Payments Service, as soon as they are able to, with a large number already received by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).

The RPA will continue to monitor the situation carefully and consider if further measures are needed to support farmers. Applications for new CS Higher Tier and Mid Tier agreements are still being accepted ahead of their respective deadlines of May1 and July 31 2020.

RPA chief executive Paul Caldwell said:

"We’re fully focused on making vital payments to the rural community and helping customers submit their claims and applications during this difficult time.

"We know the coronavirus is causing issues where farmers are unable to meet their agents, so we are making this extension to allow more time for the farming community to submit their applications and claims without penalty.

"I would urge farmers and their agents to complete their applications and claims as soon as they are able to, using the Rural Payments Service in the first instance."

In addition the period for amending your claim without penalty has also been extended to June 30, with final submission of applications and claims now to be with the RPA by July 10.

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