If you are new to farming, or you have recently taken control of an agricultural business that is claiming the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), you may be eligible for entitlements and/or a top-up payment.

You are classed as a ‘young’ farmer if you are aged between 18 and 40 on the date of your first BPS application. You must not have been farming for more than five years prior to that application.

There is no age restriction for ‘new’ farmers. But you must make your first application within two years of starting or taking control of your business.

Both young and new farmers can apply to receive their first entitlements from the National Reserve at no cost.  Young farmers can also receive a top up payment of an additional 17.5% on the first 90ha of their claim.

Applying is straightforward and the Rural Payments Agency have now streamlined the paperwork for young farmers. You will need to prove that you meet the rules and requirements to be classed as a ‘young’ or ‘new’ farmer, however.

• Find out more and download an application form

The deadline for submitting BPS applications without penalty is midnight on Monday 17 May.

In case you missed our post on it last month, you can see full details of the dates for the BPS as well as those for the Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship schemes by downloading this handy PDF.

For help with BPS and other grant applications, please call Alex Orttewell or Richard Edge on 01935 852170 or email info@assetsphere.co.uk