Some 23,709 farmers will receive interim Agri-Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES) payments worth a combined €113.6m from Wednesday, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has announced.

Payments will issue at a flat rate of €5,000 for those participating in ACRES co-operation projects and €4,000 for those who entered the scheme through the general route.

Of the farmers to receive these flat-rate payments, 3,463 are in Donegal, 3,335 in Mayo, 3,076 in Galway and 2,838 in Cork.

Advance 2023 ACRES payments worth 85% of farmers’ yearly payments commenced in December, but the Department of Agriculture’s IT system has struggled to make headway in processing and clearing payments since - less than half of all participants have been paid.

“The overall amount being paid, in this first [interim] pay run, is €113.6m to 23,709 ACRES participants,” Minister McConalogue stated.

“I am pleased to honour my commitment that these payments will be issued by the end of this month.”

Further delays for 2,500

However, not every ACRES farmer with a payment outstanding from the Department will receive their interim payment this week.

“There are, however, a small number of applications requiring further processing and the interim payment in respect of this cohort will issue in about ten days’ time," the Minister has said.

The Irish Farmers Journal estimates that around 2,500 farmers could be affected by this additional delay, based on figures cited by Minister McConalogue.

“My Department is continuing to process ACRES tranche one contracts with the intention of making payments to all eligible participants in June 2024.”

Correspondence has been issued to all participants set to receive an interim payment from this week to inform them that their June balancing payment will take account of funds received in this interim transfer of funds.

“It will also outline the process if the ACRES payment is calculated to be less than the amount of the interim payment,” Minister McConalogue added.


Minister McConalogue put the delay in advance ACRES payments down to the large number of farmers participating in the scheme and the complexity of processing applications.

The farmers due to receive interim payments have been waiting months for their payments to land, with the delay placing immense cashflow pressure on them.

“Notwithstanding these factors, my Department has already issued advance payments to the value of €88.4m to 19,719 participants and continues to work to ensure that the processing of ACRES payments is a priority, with the focus now very much on issuing payments in June 2024,” the Minister said.

He added that while the interim payments are being issued by the Department of Agriculture on Wednesday, it may take a few days for funds to appear in farmers’ accounts.