FARMERS and landowners have been given a one-month extension to apply for vital funding due to the coronavirus crisis.

The Rural Payments Agency announced the extention for Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and Countryside Stewardship Scheme (CSS) funding due to the disruption caused by COVID.

It will allow landowners to make a submission without being penalised for a late application.

Many farmers rely on the payments to meet their running costs, but due to the introduction of social distancing measures farmers have faced obstacles when communicating with their agents in regards to claims.

Commenting on the deadline extension, Harry Morshead, Associate at youngsRPS said: “The impending and fast approaching phased removal of BPS and reduction of other financial aid has been at the forefront of our minds for some time now.

"Our message to our clients over the past few years has been to take advantage of these schemes whilst they are still around.

"The lockdown has undoubtedly caused communication issues between farmers and their agents.

"It would be damaging to the industry if farmers missed out on the opportunity to claim financial aid due to the outbreak.

"We have been very lucky at youngsRPS as we have the technology and communication infrastructure in place to continue work for our clients without interruption, ensuring that our clients are prepared for the 15th May BPS deadline.”

Farmers now have until June 15 to submit applications, as opposed to the usual deadline of May 15.