With one week to go until the 15 May deadline, DAERA has received just over half of the expected number of single applications from NI farmers.

On Tuesday, Agriculture Minister Andrew Muir said over 14,000 online forms had been submitted to date.

In previous years, around 24,000 farm businesses in NI applied for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS).

“I would encourage the remaining farmers to complete their application without delay. The online application service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Minister Muir said.

Paid in full

The Alliance MLA also confirmed that, similar to the 2022 and 2023 scheme years, DAERA is aiming to get BPS money issued in full from early September.

“Completing applications before the 15 May deadline will avoid late claim penalties and allow my department to issue prompt payments from 2 September,” he said.

Local agricultural consultants report that there have been no major problems with completing single applications this year.

However, one issue raised was that DAERA updated its computer system during the application window, and this temporarily slowed down the application process.


With the 2 May deadline for transferring BPS entitlements now passed, the single applications that consultants have left to fill out tend to be more straightforward.

Entitlements can no longer be added to applications, so the only amendments that can be made relate to the area of land claimed.

However, David Rankin from Edenkennedy Agricultural Consultancy in Banbridge said farmers still approached him to transfer entitlements after the deadline.

“The closing date for transferring entitlements should be changed from 2 May so that it coincides with the closing of the single application on 15 May,” he said.

Rankin suggests this change would be “a great help” from 2025 onwards as new scheme rules are due to apply which could see increased activity with entitlement trading.

Next year, landowners who had no farming activity in 2020 or 2021 will have to sell their entitlements before the end of the 2025 transfer window or else their entitlements will be lost. Then in 2026, DAERA is planning to make all land eligible for payment, so some farmers with areas of land that is currently ineligible could be active in the market for extra entitlements.