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 Monday 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 more than 14,200 forms have already been completed. More than 3000 forms have been started and are in ‘draft’ form leaving approximately 1200 forms still to be started with just four days to go.
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 to the industry annually.
With only a few days left, NFU Scotland has welcomed the news that Scottish Government has organised out of hours cover for IT related issues over the next three days (12/13/14 May) and after office hours cover on Monday 15 May until midnight. Customers can contact the IT service desk on 0300 244 6202 or [email protected].
NFU Scotland Director of Policy Jonnie Hall said: “Support payments remain critically important to the viability of most Scottish farming and crofting businesses. The importance of that support will be underlined this year and into next year as we continue to see the impact of unprecedented rises in input costs and unpredictable volatility in prices.
“With exactly four days 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 is also concern about the 3000 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.
“As we transition to a new agricultural policy and support arrangements from 2025 onwards, the SAF deadline is still one of the most important dates in the Scottish farming calendar and we need farmers and crofters to crack on with applications.”