News that the Department of Agriculture has paused key farm payments until 1 December has angered farmers and farm organisations.
Defending its decision, the Department told the Irish Farmers Journal that is necessary to pause payments under some schemes, namely the Basic Income Support for Sustainability, Complementary Redistributive Income Support for Sustainability and the Areas of Natural Constraints, while making final arrangements for delivery of balancing payments, which commence from 1 December.
“This is normal practice and has happened across previous years, for example in 2022 advance payments paused on 7 November and balancing payments commenced on 1 December,” it said.
Cases cleared for payment between now and 1 December will only be visible on a farmer’s agfood.ie account once the payment has issued.
ICSA rural development chair Tim Farrell called on the Department of Agriculture to do whatever it takes to ensure farmers receive all outstanding payments due to them without further delay.
IFA presidential candidate Francie Gorman said the delay is “shattering confidence” among farmers.
Department figures show that under the ANC scheme 89% of farmers were paid as of 9 November, with 11,405 farmers awaiting payment.
Some 6,000 of these are farmers who opted to use a stocking rate from 2023 for eligibility and have not yet met the required stocking rate and hence cannot be paid until they do so, the Department stated.
Approximately 5,000 require finalisation of BISS payment, and approximately 500 are not yet cleared for a mix of reasons.
Over 92% of farmers received their BISS and CRISS payments as of 9 November, with 8,682 yet to receive a payment.
Some 91.4% of farmers received their eco-scheme payment as of 9 November.
“There are 10,289 farmers who have yet to receive a payment and the number of cleared cases will continue to rise over the following weeks,” the Department said.