Farmers reminded of payment entitlement

AGRICULTURE and Rural Development Minister, Michelle O’Neill today reminded farmers of the rule governing the activation of Single Farm Payment (SFP) entitlements.

Every farmer has to have an entitlement for each hectare of eligible land on which they wish to claim SFP.

The EU regulations require farmers to activate each of their SFP entitlements at least once every two years. If the entitlements are not activated as required, the unused entitlements may be taken from the farm business.

Urging farmers to make sure they complied with the EU requirement, the Minister said: “In these challenging economic times, it is especially important that farmers maximise their payment of SFP and take any appropriate steps to preserve their full entitlement in the future.

“My Department will be writing to farmers over the coming days to remind them to check that they are activating each of their SFP entitlements at least once every two years.”

The Minister added that the vast majority of recipients of the reminder letter will not lose any entitlements as the Department automatically activates those entitlements which farm businesses could lose if they are not activated in 2013.

Farmers who do not expect to have enough eligible land to activate the entitlements not activated in 2012 may wish to consider transferring these entitlements to another farm business which could activate them in 2013.