Farmers and crofters urged to get their SAF and BES applications in as soon as possible.
With just one week to go until the deadline of midnight on Wednesday 15 June 2016, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing is urging farmers and crofters not to leave it until the last minute to submit their Single Application Form – which is required to receive Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) payments – and their Beef Efficiency Scheme (BES) claim, which also closes on 15 June.
As of Tuesday 7 June, 2016, 16,787 SAF applications have been submitted. This compares to 14,162 applications submitted with one week to go last year.
The Cabinet Secretary said:
"We are well on track to get all applications in on time for the 2016 SAF and BES. We know the last seven days of the SAF window are traditionally the busiest – with almost 6,500 of last year's SAFs submitted in the final week before the deadline.
"Although we are way ahead of that tally this year, farmers and crofters should not leave it until the last minute to get their forms in.
"Resolving the payment problems many have experienced with the CAP remains my first and foremost priority. I am well aware that the resolution of the CAP payments will not be achieved overnight, but I do not want to see a repeat of the problems we have faced over this past year, and it is one of my main objectives to see that the 2016 payments are on a proper footing."
Scotland's Chief Agricultural Officer David Barnes added:
"With just one week to go until both the SAF and BES deadlines, farmers and crofters should ensure they get their applications in as soon as they can. The system is still new so filling in the SAF may take longer than it has done in previous years. BES applications are made separately on the ScotEID website. With all of the correct information to hand, it takes about 15 minutes to complete your BES claim.
"Ensuring the Rural Payments and Services website continues to perform, and helping customers get in their SAFs and BES applications are the focus for my team this week. If you do need any help with either application, or encounter any issues, then support is available from local area offices."
BES claims can be made by visiting www.scoteid.com
The SAF window in Scotland this year has been extended by one month and will close on 15 June, 2016.
As of 6 June, 2016 a total of 16,787 SAFs have been submitted, 12,458 (74%) online and 4,329 (26%) on paper.
The Scottish Government received a total of 20,711 SAFs between 15 March, 2015 and 15 June, 2015. Of those, 65% were online and 35% were on paper.
The SAF is used to apply for a number of schemes including the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS). IN 2015, over 18,000 of the 20,711 SAFs included a claim for BPS