Concerns are growing that farm payments under ACRES could be at risk if the required scheme work is not completed on time.

Agricultural advisers have told the Department of Agriculture they are under severe workload pressure, due to the range of new CAP schemes, coupled with 46,000 farmers being accepted into ACRES.

Their most immediate concern is the walking and scoring of 600,000ha of land in the scheme and the submission of grassland and habitat scorecards.

If the required lands aren’t walked and scorecards submitted by the end of August, then the farmer’s ACRES payment could be penalised, and their plan could ultimately be rejected.

All 46,000 farmers will also need to complete ACRES training by year end.

This will require between 1,500 and 2,000 adviser-led training courses to be completed by the end of the year.