Two-thirds of Northern Ireland farmers had yet to submit their Single Application Forms for the Basic Payment Scheme, just a month before the deadline.

With now just three weeks left to submit Single Application Forms, Northern Ireland's Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots is encouraging farmers to submit their applications now so as not to incur a financial penalty.

The deadline for submitting Single Applications without penalty is May 17, 2021. Failure to submit an application will result in a farmer not receiving their payment this year. The deadline for entitlement transfers is May 4, 2021.

Minister Poots said: “Basic Payments issued by DAERA represent by far the largest income for farm businesses in Northern Ireland and are vital to the continued viability of family farms and the rural economy.

“At present, the department has received a third of Single Applications and I would therefore strongly encourage all farmers to go online now and complete your application.

"It can take time to gather all the information you need to complete your application, so start today to avoid the possibility of missing your farm payment this year."

Minister Poots added: “The deadline for submitting Single Applications is May 17, 2021, but if you need to make an Entitlement Transfer this must be completed by May 4, 2021.

"Late applications for Entitlement Transfers will not be accepted and could mean you do not receive the payment you were expecting.

"If you use an agent to complete your applications, you need to contact them now to make sure they have all the information they require to do this for you in 2021.”

Need help with your Single Application?

The department's team of advisors are available to offer help through webchat or via telephone on: 0300-200-7848.

Videos are also available on the DAERA website to run applicants through the process.

Advisors will also be contacting farmers who have not yet submitted their application, farmers may receive phone calls in the evening or weekends to offer assistance and support.