I just want to write a short piece about applying for basic farm payment because it is a question that I have been asked on occasion by different farming friends. A lot of the time the question comes up when they get an annual bill from teagasc or their agriculture consultant. The question asked is along the lines of is it worth their annual fee when all they use their service for is applying for farm payments once a year.
To answer that question it depends on how comfortable the individual farmers are around computers, like some farmers that have asked me this spend every day looking at the internet and have Facebook profiles etc. but yet seem too afraid to attempt to apply for their farm payments. This is understandable as for most farmers the farm payment application is probably the most important application that they will fill out in the whole year and they don’t want to make the mistake of getting it wrong.
Going it alone
Still even though teagasc do offer a very good service for many schemes and services if their are farmers out their who only use their services for applying for single farm payment and are considering on doing it themselves next year it is not a very difficult process.
As long as you are not changing land parcels or details because you have rented extra land it is as simple as ticking a few boxes and the next button until you are finished. I think at this stage most farmers have internet access anyway and most are signed up to agfood.ie
If not that is straightforward enough to do too just click on the register button on the left-hand side of the page and enter your details. There is a video below from the department of agriculture explaining the process and if you are already registered with agfood.ie you can skip the first 3 minutes of the video.
Just tick the boxes
The most important thing to remember is not to forget to click the box stating that you wish to apply for the area of natural constraints (ANC) if you are eligible to claim it. this was previously known as disadvantage or headage payment. If you are not changing any land details or you are applying on the exact same amount of land as last year then just click next to go through the few pages and accept terms and conditions and that’s it.
provided you don’t need to make any changes to your land it is a simple enough process. If you do need to add in extra land parcels or make changes it is not what I would call difficult either but if you are unsure about your technical skills it might be better to leave it to your teagasc adviser as you don’t want to get hit with a penalty for over claiming on a land parcel.
I have linked the video from the department explaining the process but in general I would consider it to be a lot simpler than some people might think especially if you don’t need to make changes. Watch over the video a few times and if you think you want to go it alone on your next application you could always play that video on another device as you are going through the application. That way you could always pause the video as you go through each step and press play again when you are ready to continue.
I understand it is a lot of money to most farmers and a lot might be fearful of making a mistake especially when it is their first time doing it so I will leave that decision up to you. This is just a guide that might help somebody who is willing to try it.