Growers are being given an extra month to submit their water abstraction returns to the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa).
The agency has extended the deadline for submitting the information to January 31 2020.
It said the extension had been given in recognition of external factors, such as extreme weather and Brexit preparations, impacting farmers, and also because an annual reminder to farmers about the regular December 31 deadline had been delayed.
“The data that water abstractors supply is really important in helping understanding the state of Scotland’s environment,” said Sepa chief officer Ian Buchanan.
He said the process, mandatory for all farmers with a water abstraction licence, was quick and simple. Growers are required to download and return a document from the Sepa website by post or email.
“We’re grateful to those who have already completed their returns or plan to do so by the end of December.” he said.
“For those who need a little more time, we’re here to help.
“We’ll be writing to abstractors to advise of the extra time and support available and our colleagues are here to help on 03000 99 66 99.”
NFU Scotland welcomed the extension and reminded all growers with abstraction licences to submit data before the end of next month.
Union environmental regulations policy manager Jenny Brunton said: “It is important that data returns are submitted to Sepa in order to allow them to make an accurate assessment of the impact of irrigation on watercourses.
“Even if no water has been abstracted for any period, a nil return must still be submitted to Sepa using the abstraction data returns form,” she added.
“We remind all Scottish growers that a failure to submit data returns is considered a non-compliance with the conditions of the licence and could affect payments under the Basic Payment Scheme or result in a Cross-Compliance inspection.”