Payments worth €185m under the Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) have commenced this week, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has confirmed.

The 86,000 farmers being paid in this first tranche of 2020 advance payments is an increase from the €168.5m paid to 79,000 farmers at this stage in 2019.

In line with last year’s arrangement, the payments currently issuing are an 85% advance payment on the ANC with 15% balancing payments due to commence in early December.

Timely boost

Commenting on the announcement, Minister McConalogue said: “The issuing of the ANC now underscores my determination to maximise payments to farmers at the earliest possible time.

“These payments represent a timely and significant financial boost for farmers and for the wider rural economy with applications being processed, as a matter of urgency.”

The Department has recently written to all farmers to outline the timetable for payments under various schemes in the coming months with focus on delivering these payments on schedule.

The Minister also confirmed that arrangements are on target to facilitate payment of the advance 70% under the Basic Payment Scheme with effect from 16 October.

Early release

The Department has said many farmers have yet to satisfy the annual average stocking density of 0.15 livestock units per forage hectare for the calendar year and have until 31 December to do so.

Farmers should submit any outstanding stocking evidence in support of their application to the Department’s Portlaoise office.

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