Figures released by DAERA on Friday show that 15,556 Single Application Forms (SAF) for the 2017 scheme year have been received so far.
With the department expecting around 25,000 applications in total, this means that around 62% of farm businesses in NI have submitted SAF so far this year.
“Our message to farmers, particularly those new to online applications, is to make arrangements immediately to secure your 2017 area-based scheme payments. This is one of the most important things you will do this year so don’t take any risks with your 2017 payments,” a DAERA spokesperson said.
The department wants farmers to submit SAF online this year and so far, only 50 of 15,556 applications received have been in paper format.
There have been 6,114 applications submitted by businesses through the online service for the first time this year.
Earlier this week, DAERA announced extended opening hours over the next two weekends for the SAF advisory service helpline.
The European Commission has also announced that member states can avail of a one month extension for the deadline for Basic Payment Scheme applications.
However, a DAERA spokesperson told the Irish Farmers Journal on Friday that the department would not be extending the application deadline for NI farmers beyond 15 May 2017.