The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs announced today (Tuesday, April 23) that the 2024 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) Entitlement Transfer is closing soon.

Farmers are being reminded that any BPS Entitlement Transfers for this year must be completed by midnight on Thursday, May 2.

The application period for transferring BPS entitlements this year opened on March 1.

Northern Irish farmers, or their agents, who wish to transfer entitlements for the 2024 scheme year must do so during this period.

This has been applied to the unit value of entitlements on the entitlements register, DAERA said.

BPS entitlements form the basis of the BPS annual payment, and they can be transferred between farm businesses by inheritance, sale, lease, or gift.

DAERA stated that farm businesses must activate all their entitlements in at least one scheme year over any two-year period, except in cases of force majeure or exceptional circumstance.

9% of the BPS budget has been redirected to the previously announced Beef Carbon Reduction Scheme and the introduction of the Suckler Cow Scheme from January 2025.

Any entitlement that remains unused for two consecutive years is at risk of being confiscated from the business.

To complete Entitlement Transfers, applications should be submitted via online services on the DAERA website. A team of advisors are available Monday-Friday from 9:00a.m to 5:00p.m to assist with queries.

Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Andrew Muir previously said: “These schemes are significant elements of my department’s new Farm Support and Development Programme to be added for 2024/25.

“The schemes are aimed at improving the efficiency of the beef sector and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, thereby contributing to meeting Northern Ireland’s climate change targets.”

The schemes also encourage the transition to a more sustainable farming sector through the implementation of policies and strategies that benefit the climate and environment, according to Mr. Muir.