The Basic Payment Scheme is an income support paid to farmers. You are paid per hectare of eligible land used for farming.
The payment is not related to the output of the farm - it is based on the eligible hectares of land that you apply on and use and the number of entitlements held by the applicant. You must apply online for the payment once each year.
How to qualify
You must manage land and be involved in an agricultural activity. This includes:
milking, breeding animals and keeping animals for farming purposes
managing land that can be used for grazing or growing
Farmers receiving Basic Payment Scheme payments may also be eligible for a top-up called the Greening Payment.
Your Basic Payment Scheme application is also where you apply for payment under other schemes you are participating in including:
New applicants for the Young Farmers Scheme or previously successful applicants who have changed their registration details are required to complete a separate online application.
A sample of scheme applicants are selected for inspection each year.
You must comply with the conditions
of the Basic Payment Scheme.
In carrying out agricultural activities farmers must comply with the requirements of Cross Compliance
and Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition on their holding.
Rates of payment
You are paid per hectare of eligible land farmed and for which you hold entitlements. Under the scheme, this is called an eligible hectare. The maximum rate that you could be paid per hectare is determined by the value of the entitlements you hold.
The number and values of entitlements each farmer holds, depends on factors such as:
payment rates and number of entitlements received under previous direct payment schemes
adjustments each year to move values towards the national average (convergence)
transfers of entitlements between farmers
Each entitlement the farmer holds must be supported by a hectare of eligible land farmed to qualify for payment. The value of these entitlements is combined to calculate the Basic Payment Scheme payment.
The Basic Payment Scheme payment and the Greening Payment, which is calculated as approximately 44% of the Basic Payment, are then added together to form the total direct payment. Entitlements can also be transferred to other farmers.
Maximum and minimum payment
The maximum payment that will be granted to any one farmer under the Basic Payment Scheme, excluding the Greening Payment, in any one scheme year is capped at €150,000. No payment will be made under the Basic Payment Scheme where the amount is less than €100.
An advance payment may be made in October. Balancing payments under the Basic Payment Scheme commence in December.
If you do not meet all of the conditions of the scheme you may receive a reduced payment or no payment.
Helpsheet and Terms and Conditions for the Basic Payment Scheme