Last year many farmers were left waiting for months, wondering would they ever receive the payments as part of the GLAS agri-environment scheme.
The scheme was set up as part of the Rural Development Programme and aimed to reward farmers for conserving the environment they work on, yet many farmers waited anxiously for these rewards. Delays lasted in well into 2017 for over 3,500 farmers, with payments said to be worth up to €2,000. They finally received their compensation, meaning that over 37,000 farmers had received up to 85% of their payments.
11,000 farmers are still awaiting the final 15% payment, due in part due to a Nutrient Management plan not being submitted.With payments due again this coming November many quarters have called on the Department to avoid a repeat of 2016. IFA Rural Development chairman, Joe Brady, was one to make the call for on time payments to prevent serious cash flow problems amongst farmers. Mr. Brady said farmers have already incurred the costs for planning and compliance, meaning they will need early payments to survive.
Pat Dunne, IFA National Hill Farming Committee Chairman, also highlighted the need for GLAS to run smoothly. He called on farmers to get their Commonage Management Plans in before October and said with 9,000 commonage farmers involved in the scheme, they need to get their plans done immediately.
The IFA say the Department have informed them that the latest round of payments will be paid in November, while they say they are seeking for an increase to the 85% in last years payments. They also urged anyone who has yet to submit their Nutrient Management plan to get it in as soon as possible to avoid 2017 payment delays.