SAF deadline fast approaching for farmers and crofters
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NFU Scotland is encouraging crofters and farmers to prioritise filling out their Single Application Form (SAF) as soon as possible before the window closes in two weeks' time.
The union understands that around a third of expected applications have been completed. The number of completed forms already received by the Scottish Government Rural Payments and Inspections Directorate (SGRPID) is ahead of 2019 but lower than the same point last year.
The dry weather over the past few weeks may have seen farmers and crofters prioritise busy spring work over their SAF, but the union is now urging them to take the time to fill out their application form before May 17.
The online application process has "significantly improved" in recent years, NFUS says. By applying online, the system will flag any errors before submitting it.
In line with recent years, paper forms will not be automatically posted out and must instead be requested from SGRPID local area offices.
For those with queries, area offices are operating an answer machine service. There is also the option to make use of a new SGRPID web chat facility or to contact Rural Matters on Facebook or Twitter.
NFUS director of policy Jonnie Hall said: “The recent dry weather may have been a welcome distraction for many farmers and crofters who are yet to complete their 2021 SAF but we cannot emphasise enough how important prioritising this annual application is. The deadline of May 17 is fast approaching, and we urge farmers and crofters to concentrate on completing their submission now rather than at the last minute.”