Farmers Advised To Crack On With SAF Form

The number of Scottish farmers and crofters who have filled out their Single Application Form (SAF) online ahead of the window closing at midnight on Wednesday 15 May is well ahead of this time last year, but many forms are still to be started.

Latest figures provided to NFU Scotland by Scottish Government suggest that, with a week to go, almost 11,000 forms have already been completed.  That compares with 10,600 at the same time in 2023 and 10,200 in 2022.  Around 18,000 forms are submitted annually in Scotland.

Given the pressure some farmers and crofters are under to complete spring work, NFU Scotland is reminding members that while the deadline for submitting your SAF application is Wednesday 15 May, applications submitted by the deadline can still be amended, added to, or increased, up until 31 May without penalty.

Since 2022, it has been a requirement that all SAF forms must be completed online.  Completion of a SAF is required to access important support schemes such as the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and Greening, and the Less Favoured Area Support Scheme.  All schemes available as part of SAF are critical to the financial well-being of Scottish agriculture – injecting well over £500 million into the industry annually.

With a week left, NFU Scotland has welcomed the news that Scottish Government has organised 9am to 5pm cover for IT related issues over the weekend (11 and 12 May) and after office hours cover from Monday 13 May until midnight on Wednesday 15 May.  Customers can contact the IT service desk on 0300 244 6202 or [email protected].

NFU Scotland Director of Policy Jonnie Hall said: “The SAF deadline remains one of the most important dates in the Scottish farming calendar.
“Support payments remain critically important to the viability of most Scottish farming and crofting businesses.  As we negotiate that Agriculture and Rural Communities (Scotland) Bill, that will define our future support arrangements, we have made the importance of that support crystal clear.
“With exactly a week to go, it is encouraging just how many forms have been completed but there is a significant number of SAF forms still to be started.  There are also many forms started but not completed and we urge those with forms in a draft state to go on and complete their application at the earliest opportunity and ensure that it is properly submitted.
“Farmers and crofters must prioritise these annual application forms in the next few days.  The deadline of the 15 May is fast approaching, and we urge all eligible applicants to concentrate on completing their submission now rather than at the last minute.  However, we remind all that the opportunity to amend forms without penalty is there until 31 May.”