By Tuesday afternoon, 121,500 applications had been made to the Basic Payment Scheme. This is just over 24 hours before the deadline of midnight on Wednesday 15 May. This is not far off the total number expected, with 123,427 applicants eligible for payment last year.

However, there are usually more applications than the number eligible. There were 131,000 applications in 2017.

The European Commission has given member states the option of extending the deadline for applications by one month. However, Ireland will not be availing of this.

A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture said "given the rate of BPS applications to date, Ireland will not be seeking an extension to the BPS closing date."

Department opening hours

For those yet to make their application, farmers can call in to the Department offices in Portlaoise up to 9pm on Tuesday night. It will be open from 9am to 12 midnight on Wednesday.