Farmers affected by the recent flooding should act now to protect eligibility for scheme payments

Land damaged by flash floods – force majeure – August 2017

The eligibility of your land for schemes such as the Basic Payment Scheme may have been affected by the floods on Tuesday 22 August.

DAERA is conscious that this is a challenging situation for farmers and land owners and wishes to ensure that they take the right actions now to safeguard their payments under area based schemes.


If you have been affected, you should apply to DAERA within 15 days of the event for consideration for ‘force majeure’.

Farm businesses should note that If during any scheme year a section of your land becomes unexpectedly flooded or damaged, and if this impacts on your ability to carry out agricultural or woodland activity on land you have claimed as being eligible on your Single Application Form, you are advised to submit a force majeure application to DAERA within 15 working days of the event to allow your circumstances to be considered. 

To do this, you are advised to immediately contact Area-Based Schemes Payment Branch on 0300 200 7848.  A link to the Force Majeure application form can be found on the DAERA website.

When you tell us of a ‘force majeure’ you will be asked to complete an FML1 application form (available on the DAERA website) and return it to Area-Based Schemes Payment Branch. We will look at each request individually so that we can confirm that despite taking all reasonable measures to counteract their effects, the force majeure or exceptional circumstances prevented you from meeting your obligations. You will be asked for information, supported by evidence where appropriate, of the steps you have taken to prevent or lessen the effect of these circumstances.

Therefore, if your farm or land holding has been affected by the recent flash floods, and in order to safeguard your scheme payments, you should contact the Area-based Schemes Payment Branch on 0300 200 7848 urgently to apply for force majeure.

More information on force majeure and its relevance to those claiming area based scheme payments is contained within the Guide to the Basic Payments Scheme 2017 (Page 62) which can be accessed via the DAERA Website.

Through its DAERA Direct offices, the Department has a network of advisors across Northern Ireland on hand to provide support and advice on a range of issues.

In addition DAERA staff, in conjunction with the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU), will be providing advice clinics between 9am and 5pm YMCA, Drumahoe and the Community Hall, Eglinton (August 31) and Strabane UFU Office (September 1).

Notification of further clinics will be advertised through the Department’s website, farming journals and other media.

CAFRE will also be issuing an advisory bulletin to assist farmers in their recovery efforts.

  1. Further advice for farmers is contained in the following press release.
  2. Follow us on Twitter @daera_ni (external link opens in a new window / tab).