Applicants submitting their Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS) applications are being reminded to be careful that they do not withdraw their eco-scheme participation in error.

The Department of Agriculture has developed the BISS portal in a manner that all applicants opt in to participate in the eco scheme by default.

Farmers who wish to withdraw their participation have to tick a box which currently states: “I wish to proceed with BISS application WITHOUT applying for the eco scheme.”

Ticking this box will raise a similar warning highlighting the fact that a farmer is withdrawing their participation.

This is perfectly acceptable where farmers want to opt out of the voluntary scheme. However, a follow-up examination by the Department has shown that most of the small cohort of farmers who withdrew their participation have done so in error.

Such a mistake will have a significant bearing on the level of payment a farmer receives. Payments rates will depend on the level of participation but based on a participation rate of about 95% the level of payment will be in the region of €65-66/ha. This amounts to almost €2,000 for a 30ha farm or almost €3,250 for a 50ha farm, highlighting the importance of submitting your application correctly.

Participation in eco schemes is also made all the more attractive by the fact that in the region of 93% of applicants will quality for payment through the space for nature measure. This is explained in detail in the below links.

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