It finally feels like spring has arrived - the evenings are drawing out, flowers are blooming, and lambing is in full swing. With spring, comes the time to complete Welsh Government’s annual Single Application Form.

We were pleased that Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths announced just before Christmas that the BPS budget would remain the same for 2023. Given the major increases in input costs that all farms currently face, the importance of the BPS to help provide stability to farming businesses is as important as ever. The funding is not just important to farming businesses, but also to all those rural businesses who rely on farmers for so much of their income.

Farmers across the country will need to access their Rural Payments Wales (RPW) account online as paper forms are no longer available. Without completing these forms, the Basic Payment Scheme, and a number of Rural Development schemes including Glastir, Glastir Organic and Glastir Woodland schemes cannot be secured and so this is one of the most crucial forms farmers will complete.

When completing the form, you should check you meet the eligibility criteria that are detailed in the Single Application Rules booklet. You should make sure you have indicated which fields and or crops you wish to claim for each scheme, and you must submit the appropriate supporting documents by Monday, May 15, some of which must be submitted by post / in-person.

Once you have completed and submitted your form, a formal acknowledgement will be sent out electronically. You should check this through thoroughly to ensure that the form is correctly completed. It is advisable that you print this off or take a screenshot for your records. If you notice any errors, you should inform Rural Payments Wales immediately if you want to make a change to avoid incurring possible penalties. If you don’t receive the acknowledgement email, please contact RPW via your RPW online account or ring the customer contact centre.

To ensure you do not incur a financial penalty, the absolute deadline for Welsh Government to receive your Single Application Form and supporting documents is midnight on Monday, May 15 2023. If you miss this deadline, your form will be accepted up until midnight on Friday, June 9 2023, but penalties will apply. Applications received after this date will not be accepted.

If you have any queries about your application, you can contact RPW by calling the customer contact centre on 0300 062 5004 or by visiting the website at NFU Cymru members can also contact their local NFU Cymru group office and speak with their Group Secretary.