Applicants that have had their claims fully verified by the department will receive 50% advance payments from 16 October with balance payments made from 1 December.

This is the second year that advanced payments have been made to NI farmers. Last year, 70% advanced payments were issued in October as part of the European Commission’s exceptional aid package due to pressure on farm incomes across sectors.

DAERA plan to issue the maximum advanced payment allowed under EU regulations as the Commission has not indicated that the limit will be extended from 50% to 70% this year again.

“The delivery of advance payments in 2017 is a direct consequence of the increase in the number of farmers submitting their Single Applications online. The Department is committed to maximising the number of payments made to farmers in October and again in December,” a DAERA spokesperson said.

Only 118 NI farmers submitted paper Single Application forms this year, with 99.53% of applicants using DAERA’s online application service.