Northern Ireland’s agriculture, environment and rural affairs minister, Andrew Muir, has urged farmers to submit Single Applications ahead of the deadline to avoid late claim penalties.

Single Applications submitted between May 16 and June 10 will incur financial penalties, the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) said.

Farm businesses who have not yet submitted their 2024 Single Application should do so before the deadline of midnight on Wednesday, May 15.

Minister Muir said: “Submitting a Single Application is one of the most important tasks for farmers each year.

“To date, over 14,000 farm businesses have completed their submission in 2024 and 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.”

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

The Single Application is used to claim the following schemes:

  • Basic Payment Scheme (BPS);
  • Young Farmers’ Payment (YFP);
  • Regional Reserve Entitlement allocation or top up (as young farmer or new entrant);
  • Environmental Farming Scheme (EFS);
  • Farm Woodland Premium Scheme (FWPS);
  • Farm Woodland Scheme (FWS);
  • Forest Expansion Scheme (Annual Premia);
  • Small Woodland Grant Scheme (SWGS);
  • Protein Crop Scheme.

Climate change meeting

Last week, during a meeting with the UK’s Climate Change Committee (CCC), Muir said his top priority is “to take action to tackle the climate emergency”.

He also confirmed his commitment to Northern Ireland working towards meeting the net zero by 2050 target during the meeting, which took place in Clare House, Belfast.

During the meeting, Muir thanked the CCC, which advises the UK on matters relating to climate change, for its “expert advice”.

“My top priority is to take action to tackle the climate emergency. I am delighted to have delivered the first commitment from our Northern Ireland climate change act recently by bringing forward legislation for public bodies to report on their climate change impacts and resilience.

“I recognise that delivering net zero can bring significant benefits and opportunities for the people of Northern Ireland,” he said.

Muir said these benefits include increased economic opportunities, better air and water quality as well employment, wellbeing and environmental benefits.