It’s that time of year again when we start thinking about Single Application Forms (SAF). The application window opens on Monday, March 4 and our county staff are busy getting prepared to help take the stress of filling the form away.

As many of you will know, the SAF is completed via RPW Online and is used to claim payment under the following schemes: Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) including Redistributive, Greening and Young Farmer; Glastir Entry; Glastir Advanced; Glastir Organic; Glastir Woodland Management; Improved Land Premium; Glastir Woodland Creation Premium; Glastir Woodland Creation Maintenance.

You must also complete the SAF 2019 if you wish to apply for National Reserve Entitlements, as a ‘New Entrant’ or a ‘Young Farmer’.

To claim under the BPS you must be a farmer and need to be carrying out agricultural activities. If you do not declare livestock or arable/permanent crops on your SAF then you will need to submit supporting documents to prove you have undertaken agricultural activities.

If you need to submit supporting documents to prove agricultural activity you must do so by May 15, unless the activity is due to take place later in the year. In which case, you will need to notify RPW in writing (letter, email or RPW message) that you will be submitting supporting documents later in the year. That evidence then needs to be submitted within 30 days of the activity taking place.

It is also worth noting that to be eligible to receive a BPS payment you must have at least five hectares of eligible agricultural land at your disposal on May 15, 2019, and own or lease in at least five BPS Entitlements.

We provide a free SAF filling service exclusively to all paid-up members as part of their membership package, which has proven invaluable for thousands of members over the years - saving them time and a paperwork-headache.

Our staff are not only well trained but are also very well practised in dealing with the complex application process.The SAF completion process is probably the single most important form completion exercise carried out by Welsh farmers each year, and the financial repercussions of errors on the forms can be severe.

I encourage our members and first time form fillers to contact us as soon as possible to book an appointment if they need help in filling out their SAF and not to forget that the deadline for submitting forms without penalties is May 15, 2019.