Full payments will be issued to 97% of Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) applicants in NI today (Thursday), DAERA has confirmed.

In total, 23,208 farm businesses will receive £286.9m when payments arrive in bank accounts over the coming days.

Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots said BPS payments were being issued six weeks early to help alleviate cashflow issues caused by spiralling farm input costs.

“The ongoing disruption to agricultural markets, in particular due to the situation in Ukraine, is having a huge impact on farm businesses,” he said.

DAERA also announced that all BPS payments will receive a 2.04% increase in 2022 to “ensure that this funding is fully utilised”. For the average NI farmer, this year’s increase equates to an extra £250.

Last year, all BPS payments received a one-off 6% boost due to leftover COVID-19 funding. In 2020, BPS entitlement values got a permanent 4% rise following the redistribution of unclaimed BPS funds.