YORKSHIRE farmers are being warned not to bin a vital form which is one of many that land on their doormats – or risk losing their future subsidy payments.
This is one of the busiest times of the year for farmers, who are already deluged with red tape from both the EU and Whitehall, and many may be tempted to ignore – or even throw away – a form from the Rural Payments Agency.
But they are being warned that, unless this particular form is completed and returned in the next four weeks, they will miss out on the new single-farm payments being introduced under reforms of the notorious Common Agricultural Policy.
"There's so much red tape that understandably farmers tend to see all the missives from officialdom as secondary to the vital task of bringing the harvest in," said Dorothy Fairburn, regional director of the Country Landowners and Business Association.
"This one is about their livelihood for years to come: failure to act now will result in serious loss."
Under the agricultural reforms all land must be registered with the RPA otherwise there will be no payment. Yorkshire farmers are now starting to receive statements from the RPA for their work during the two years from 2000 to 2002, which will count towards the new single payment.