The Department of Agriculture announced on Monday that payments worth €10m have been issued to almost 3,000 farmers participating in the Results-Based Environment-Agri Pilot (REAP).

This figure equates to about 80% of the 3,740 farmers participating in REAP receiving payment, with no details released as yet regarding what is holding up payments for the remaining 20%.

The Department highlights that the current round of payments in the programme covers “participation, environmental payments (calculated from field scoring and assessment) and late meadow bonus.”

It says that payments for the complementary actions of planting trees and hedgerows and infilling gaps in hedges will commence when payment claims are submitted in the first quarter of 2022.

The closing date for REAP participants to submit their complementary action claim is 31 March 2022.

Future schemes

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue said: “REAP is an innovative and farmer-friendly programme introduced this year.

“To be taking it from concept right through design and implementation and now payment is great credit to farmers, my Department and farm advisers, for working collaboratively.

“Through REAP, we are bringing greater environmental and biodiversity value to how we farm. Almost 32,000ha is under the scheme and systems are in place to support REAP farmers and their advisers to deliver for our environment.”

The Department says the two-year pilot programme was launched earlier this year to trial an agri-environment results-based scoring and payment system with a view to upscaling the model for use in the agri-environment scheme to follow on from GLAS.

The pilot programme opened for applications in May 2021, with a fund of €10m and 2,000 places available. It was greatly oversubscribed with in excess of 10,800 applications received. Additional funding was allocated to REAP, bringing the number of available places to 5,000.

Over 1,200 farmers did not progress from the initial application phase through to plans being submitted.

Farmers wishing to contact the Department regarding their REAP payment can do so by email at or via the Department’s Helpdesk at 053-916 3425.

The full details of REAP can also be found at - Results Based Environment Agri Pilot Programme (REAP) (

2021 Protein Aid Scheme

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue also announced payments of €3m to approximately 850 applicants under the 2021 Protein Aid Scheme at the end of last week.

This year’s payment rate was set at €300/ha, with in the region of 10,000ha of beans, peas and lupins sown, the majority of which was beans.

This is a significant increase on 2020 levels, where payment rates were set at €215/ha due to the area under protein crops being recorded at its highest level of over 13,750ha since the scheme commenced in 2015.

The minister said: “The payment provided under this scheme is an important support for tillage farmers for the growing of protein crops, including beans, peas and lupins.

“These protein crops deliver a range of environmental benefits and reduce our reliance on imported sources of protein for animal feed.

“I know the value of the Protein Aid Scheme to farmers and to the environment. That is why I have proposed to more than double the annual budget from €3m to €7m under the next CAP, which will commence in 2023.”

Scheme payments update

Payments under the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) and the Straw Incorporation Measure, with both of these expected imminently. Payment runs will continue on a weekly basis under several other schemes as cases are cleared for payment.

As of the week ending 10 December, payments under the Basic Payment Scheme were made to 120,955 applicants out of a total of 122,329 eligible applicants in 2021.

Payments under the Areas of Natural Constraint are running at €239.2m paid to 95,107 farmers.

This leaves in the region of over 4,000 farmers still to receive payment. It is normal for payments for the majority of these remaining cases to be held up until the New Year, due to insufficient stocking rates.

The number of farmers who have now received payments under the Green Low-Carbon Agri-Environmental Scheme is running at 41,130 participants or 89.1% of the total number.

Payments under the 2021 Organic Farming Scheme stand at €5.1m paid to 1,130 participants. Going on previous year’s participation levels, there is still a significant number of farmers awaiting payment, with €8.5m paid to almost 1,500 farmers in 2020.