It seems like only yesterday we were reminding members that the Single Application Form period was about to begin and now there is just under a month left before this year’s deadline. The cut-off date for filing this year’s form is midnight on Wednesday 15th May 2024.

Farmers across the country need to access their Rural Payments Wales (RPW) account online as paper forms are no longer available. Without completing these forms, the Basic Payment Scheme, and Rural Investment Schemes such as Habitat Wales Scheme (HWS) Organic Conversion Scheme (OCS), Organic Support (OS), Woodland Creation Maintenance (WCM) and Woodland Creation Premium (WCP). It is also the means for which the historic Rural Development Schemes are claimed which include, Glastir Woodland Creation Premium (GWCP), Glastir Woodland Creation Maintenance (GCM) and the Glastir Woodland Creation Premium (GCP) all of which cannot be secured and so this is one of the most crucial forms farmers will complete.

We were pleased that the then Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths announced just before Christmas that the BPS budget would remain the same for 2024. Given the major increases in input costs that all farms currently face the importance of the BPS to help provide stability to farming businesses is as important as ever. The funding is not just important to farming businesses, it is also important to all those rural businesses who rely on farmers for so much of their income.

When completing the form, you should check you meet the eligibility criteria that are detailed in the Single Application Rules booklet. You should make sure you have indicated which fields and or crops you wish to claim for each scheme, and you must submit the appropriate supporting documents to Welsh Government by Tuesday 31st of December 2024 which includes all BPS, Organic Conversion Scheme and Organic Support supporting documents. All entitlement transfers need to be completed before midnight on Wednesday 15th May.

Once you have completed and submitted your form, a formal acknowledgement will be sent out electronically. You should check this through thoroughly to ensure that the form is correctly completed. It is advisable that you print this off or take a screenshot for your records. If you notice any errors, you should inform Rural Payments Wales immediately if you want to make a change to avoid incurring possible penalties. If you don’t receive the acknowledgement email, please contact RPW via your RPW online account or ring the customer contact centre.

To ensure you do not incur a financial penalty the absolute deadline for Welsh Government to receive your Single Application Form and supporting documents is midnight on Wednesday 15th May 2024. If you miss this deadline, your form will be accepted up until midnight on Monday 10th June, but penalties will apply. Applications received after this date will not be accepted. Please do not leave it until the last minute and get your form completed as soon as possible.

If you have any queries about your application, you can contact RPW by calling the customer contact centre on 0300 062 5004 or by visiting the website at NFU Cymru members can also contact their local NFU Cymru group office and speak with their Group Secretary.