Rules of the schemes
Further detailed information on the rules of the various Schemes can be found in the following booklets:
If you would like to complete your application online but haven't yet registered to access DARD online services you should visit the online services section of our website. Alternatively, you can contact 0300 200 7843 or text the word EASY to 66101.
You can access the online service on more than one visit and any information you have saved will be available when you log in again. The following video is a recorded demonstration showing how to complete your 2015 Single Application online.
The Schemes that are covered by the Single Application Form are:
- Basic Payment and Greening (BPS)
- Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC)
- Northern Ireland Countryside Management Scheme (NICMS)
- Organic Farming Scheme (OFS)
- Farm Woodland Scheme (FWS)
- Farm Woodland Premium Scheme (FWPS)
When you login to DARD’s online services you should select Single Application Form (SAF) from the list of available services.
The ‘Welcome’ screen shows information on the 4-step process in submitting your Single Application online. To start completing, click on 'Apply Now'. Where 'yes' and 'no' options are given to questions, you must select the appropriate answer; you cannot leave the question blank.
Step 1 - scheme selection
Scheme Selection – select the schemes you wish to apply for. The options to apply for Basic Payment and Greening and / or Areas of Natural Constraint will always be shown. However if you have an agreement in place for any of the schemes NICMS / OFS / FWS or FWPS, further questions will be shown to apply for the appropriate one(s).
Basic Payment and Greening – you should tick ‘yes’ if you wish to claim for Basic Payment and Greening. There may be further requirements in relation to Crop Diversification if more than 10 Hectares of your land is classified as Arable. The online application will let you know if you have a Greening requirement. Further information on Greening can be found in the Notes to help you fill in your 2015 Single Application.
Young Farmers’ Payment– if you answer ‘yes’ to the Basic Payment and Greening question, the Young Farmers’ payment question will be presented and must be answered.
The Young Farmers’ Payment is an extra payment to Young Farmers who have completed a registration application and satisfy certain criteria. If you haven’t registered as a Young Farmer, you should contact your local DARD Direct Office for further information or download a registration form from www.dardni.gov.uk.
Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) – you should tick ‘yes’ if you wish to claim payment for ANC. In order to qualify, you must claim for a minimum of 3.00 Hectares of suitable land and have the minimum stock levels. Further information on ANC can be found in the Notes to help you fill in your 2015 Single Application.
Northern Ireland Countryside Management Scheme (NICMS) – you should tick ‘yes’ if your NICMS agreement started on or after 1 January 2009 and you wish to make an NICMS claim for the period 1 January to 31 December 2015. Only a ‘yes' response will result in the appropriate second stage form being provided to the agreement holder for completion.
Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) - you should tick ‘yes’ if your NICMS agreement started on or after 1 January 2009 and you wish to make an OFS claim for the period 1 January to 31 December 2015. Only a ‘yes response will result in the appropriate second stage form being provided to the agreement holder for completion.
Farm Woodland Scheme – (FWS) – you should tick ‘yes’ if you have an agreement in place under the Farm Woodland Scheme and wish to claim for payment.
Farm Woodland Premium Scheme – (FWPS) - you should tick ‘yes’ if you have an agreement in place under the Farm Woodland Premium Scheme and wish to claim for payment.
Step 2 - questions
This step contains questions relating to the various schemes. Answering 'yes' to certain questions may mean you have to answer supplementary questions specific to that scheme.
Do you want to apply for entitlements on the basis that you never held SFP entitlements, are not eligible for the regional reserve but undertook agricultural production on 15 May 2013? If you answer ‘yes’ to this question, you will be shown another question where you will be asked to tell us what type of farming enterprise you had on 15 May 2013 – you should tick all types of animal that apply.
Do you operate any of the following businesses: airport, railway service, waterworks, real estate service, permanent sport or recreational grounds? If you tick ‘yes’ to this question, you must submit by 15 May 2015 verifiable evidence that demonstrates any of the following: Your direct payment receipts are equivalent to at least 5% of your non agricultural receipts or, your agricultural activities are not insignificant or, your principal business or your company’s objects consist of exercising agricultural activity. You should submit your evidence no later than 15 May 2015. If it is received between 16 May and 9 June you will be subject to a late claim penalty.
Is the young farmer applicant(s):
a) head of holding
b) no more than 40 years of age on or by 31 December 2015
c) in possession of a level II qualification or above in agriculture (or related subject containing at least a farm business management module)? This question will only be shown if you have answered ‘yes’ to the Young Farmer question at Step 1
Do you farm land in England, Scotland or Wales as part of this farm business? - if you tick ‘yes’ to this question you will be shown two further question to confirm which region(s) and if you are also claiming Basic Payment and Greening in any of these region(s).
Payment In Euro – we will pay Basic Payment, Greening and any associated Young Farmers’ Payment in Pounds Sterling unless you wish to be paid in Euro (€). If you prefer to be paid in Euro, please check the button. Please note that you must also have a UK Euro BACS account.
Crop Diversification Exemption - one of the crop diversification exemptions relates to where more than 50% of the areas of arable land declared in 2015 were not declared by a farmer in his/her application in the previous year and where all arable land in 2015 is being cultivated with a different crop compared to that of the previous calendar year (2014). Tick ‘yes’ if you wish to avail of this exemption?
Farming Organically – fields farmed organically are exempt from Greening requirements. If you farm fields organically, please tick ‘yes’.
Claim in ANC – you will only see this question if you have clicked at Step 1 that you wish to claim ANC. You should click to indicate which type(s) of stock you will keep during the qualifying period. If you have breeding ewes or goats, or female deer, you should enter the total of these in the box shown.
Farm Woodland Scheme - if you have previously registered for this scheme, you will be shown the area from your existing agreement. If you wish to claim on a different area, please amend the area in the second box.
Farm Woodland Premium Scheme - if you have previously registered for this scheme, you will be shown the area from your existing agreement. If you wish to claim on a different area, please amend the area in the second box.
Cross compliance and Agricultural Waste Exemptions – you answer these questions with the appropriate yes or no answer.
If you need any help with the Waste Exemption questions, please contact the Northern Ireland Environment Agency direct on 028 9056 9360 or visit the NIEA website at www.doeni.gov.uk/niea for further information.
When you have completed the question at Step 2, you should click 'next' to proceed to step 3 – land details.
If you have missed any questions at step 2, these will be shown in red and you will have to provide the appropriate answer to proceed.
Step 3 - land details
Summary of field data
Total number of fields – this is the total number of fields declared on your application.
Total Maximum Eligible Area (MEA) – this is the total of the MEA of all fields on your application.
Total Established or Activated Area for Basic Payment – this is the total area that you want to claim for Basic Payment (and associated Greening Payment). Please note that this area is subject to checks and may not be the final area on which payment is calculated.
Total Area for ANC – this will be the total are you have declared for ANC Scheme.
Total Area classified as permanent grassland - permanent grassland is land which has not been part of an arable rotation at any point in the previous five years. The total shown here will be the total area activated for Basic Payment which has a 'PG' field classification.
Total Area classified as arable – if a field was declared in an arable use in any of the last 5 years, it will be classified as Arable for 2015. If you activate 10 or more hectares of land which are classified as Arable, you may have a specific greening requirement on your claim for 2015.The total shown here will be the total area activated for Basic Payment which has an 'AR' field classification.
Total Area classified as permanent crop – land planted in a permanent crop (a crop which would be expected to remain 5 years or more e.g. an orchard) will be classified as a permanent crop from the year it was planted (declared on a Single Application) until the year the permanent crop is removed. The total shown here will be the total area activated for Basic Payment which has a 'PC' field classification.
Greening summary – crop diversification - if you have more than 10 Hectares of land shown as having a field classification of ‘AR’ (Arable) you may be required to undertake crop diversification unless more than 75% of your land is covered by grasses or is land lying fallow. Full details can be found in the Guide to Area-based Schemes.
Example - business has activated 31.91 hectares of 'AR' (arable) classified land. As they have more than 10 Hectares of arable land, the online system has calculated what their greening requirement is and if it has been met.
EFA - as this business also has activated more than 15 Hectares of 'AR' classified land, they would also have an EFA requirement. The system calculates the equivalent area needed to satisfy this requirement. A link will be provided at the end of the application for the business to list the details of each EFA that they will use for this requirement.
Field data filter – you can use this to filter your list of fields by Field Number, classification etc.
Your fields –we will normally pre-populate your fields based on information held on LPIS for your business.
Field ID – each Field ID is made up from the Farm Survey Number and Field Number
Field area – this is the LPIS total field area as shown on your map
Land Status Your land status will be Severely Disadvantaged (SDA), Disadvantaged (DA) or Lowland (LL).
Field Classification – your land will be classified as : Permanent Grassland (PG), Permanent Grassland Sensitive land that cannot be ploughed (PGS), Permanent Crop (PC) or Arable (AR)
MEA – the MEA is our assessment of the maximum eligible area that you can use to claim Basic Payment and/or ANC in each field and is based on the boundary features less ineligible features that we have shown on your map. Do not claim more than the MEA unless you are sure the MEA is wrong. Ensure that you check the MEA is accurate before claiming and use a LPIS Correction Form to tell us of changes to the MEA.
Land Usage - you must select an appropriate option from the drop-down menu to tell us what eligible usage(s) are on the field in 2015 – you can amend this information as necessary
BPS area (ha) – you must enter the area of the field associated with the Land Usage' selected that you wish to use to establish and activate for Basic Payment. The area of the field should be entered to 2 decimal places e.g. '12.32' or '32.00’ and be equal to, or less than the MEA for that field. If the area you are activating is higher than the MEA shown, you can still submit your application. You can ignore the warning but you must notify or have notified LPIS of the change in MEA by completing a LPIS Correction Form. The area entered will be used to establish entitlements.
ANC area (ha) – you must enter the area of the field associated with the ‘Usage' selected that you wish to use to claim for payment of ANC. You can only claim payment of ANC for field with the usage code FR1 or OT3 and Land Type SDA only. The area of the field should be entered to 2 decimal places e.g. '12.32' or '32.00’ and be equal to, or less than the MEA for that field. If the area you are activating is higher than the MEA shown, you can still submit your application. You can ignore the warning but you must notify or have notified LPIS of the change in MEA by completing a LPIS Correction Form.
Add Usage – if your field has more than one use which together are less than or equal to the total MEA and are eligible for payment, you should tell us the usage code and area used for each. Click 'Add Usage' and an extra line will show for the same field; you should add the extra usage code from the drop-down list and the associated area(s) and enter the area claimed for Basic Payment and/or ANC to 2 decimal places. You must also declare these multiple uses within a field spatially. By "spatially" we mean that you must outline the area of each land use within the field on a hard copy map and submit the map to DARD as part of your application for the Basic Payment Scheme. A spatial declaration will not be required if you are growing more than one arable crop in the same field and there is no grass.
Map – click on the icon to see the map centred on that particular field. You will be able to make amendments and submit for LPIS approval and update. However, you must still make amendment to the field data listed on the field data screen to reflect new area claimed.
Delete – this will delete the field shown on the line selected or additional usage if more than one is recorded against the field. Click the bin icon
Add a new field – if you need to add a new field, enter the field ID details. The Total Field Area and MEA known to us will be shown and cannot be amended on this screen. You can amend other information as necessary.
If the Total Field Area and MEA are shown as '0.00', this could mean that the details of a new field (could be new, spilt or merged field) have not been entered onto the LPIS database yet. If you haven't done this, you must notify the change on a LPIS Correction Form as soon as you can. You should still enter the Activated area for Basic Payment and can ignore any warning telling you that the Activated area is greater than the MEA.
Save all changes - when you have made amendments to your field data and you wish to update your application, click 'Save All Changes' and the system will run validation on the data entered and let you know if there is anything you may need to re-check and show you only those field where it finds Errors and/or Warnings highlighted on screen. Click the button below to view all your fields again.
Error - if the system identifies something that will prevent you from submitting your application (an Error), the field(s) in question will be highlighted in red and show a circular symbol before the field number. If you hover over this symbol, the reason why this information can't be submitted will be shown and you will need to change the information. In the example below, the system has highlighted that the business has entered the usage code EC1 for a field on which they are claiming ANC. To rectify this error, the business would either have to enter a code that is eligible for ANC, or change the ANC area claimed to 0.00.
Warning - if the system identifies where inconsistent field data may have been entered, you will still be able to submit your application but you may wish to check your field data. If you hover over the symbol at the start of the line, the reason for the warning is displayed. If, as the example below, a business has activated for BPS an area which is greater than the MEA currently held on LPIS, a warning will show. However, if you have recently increased the eligible area of a field and LPIS has not been notified or has not updated your maps yet, the warning will still show but you can still submit using the higher area. You will have to make sure that you submit a LPIS correction form to have the MEA updated.
Step 4 - confirmation
This screen will allow you to review your Single Application before you submit. Scroll on the left hand side to review the answers entered and the fields declared.
I agree to the Declarations – you should click to view and read the declarations and undertakings associated with the Single Application before ticking that you agree.
When you click 'submit my application' you will be shown confirmation that your application has been submitted. You will also receive an email confirmation with a summary of your application attached.
On this page you will also be given information in relation to your application and reminders of further information that may be required.
You can click 'print or save summary' to get a copy of your application. Your summary will appear on screen and you have to the option to save to your desktop for safekeeping or printing a hard copy.
You can now update certain business details from this scheme such as update National Insurance details or change your Government Gateway password by clicking on 'update my details'.
Updating Field Data after Single Application submitted
A new feature has been introduced for 2015 Single Application Online where you will be able to revisit your application after it has been submitted to make amendments. You will only be able to amend details of fields; if you need to change the answers to any of the scheme-related questions, you should contact us in the usual way.
When you log in and access the application after submission, you will be presented with a 'welcome back' screen.
When you click 'Update Land Details' you will access your field data as it was when you last submitted your application.
You can amend your field data subject to normal scheme rules and submit in the same way as you did initially. The summary will have a higher Version number to reflect that amendments have been made to the original application.
Please Note: Any amendments can be made to your field data before 31 May as normal i.e. you can add or remove fields / areas.
Fields added from 1-9 June may be subject to late field penalty, although fields / areas can be removed or reduced during this time without penalty.
Fields cannot be added after 9 June, but fields / areas can still be removed only if the Department hasn't notified you of a penalty or planned inspection.