It has been another positive week in terms of the Department of Agriculture rolling out vital payments under a number of schemes. Balancing payments comprising 15% of the total payment and worth €40m was paid into farmers' bank accounts this week.

There are still 10,000 farmers who are yet to receive payment, due primarily to possessing an insufficient stocking rate. The experience of recent years shows that in the region of 5,000 to 6,000 of these will not reach this stocking rate.

Basic Payment Scheme

Payments under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) currently stand at €791.33m paid to 119,273 farmers.

Payments in 2019 totalled €1.179bn paid to 122,960 applicants from 123,072 considered eligible.

Balancing payments under the BPS will commence shortly.

Reports also indicate that farmers participating in the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) can expect to receive payment over the next week.

TAMS payments

Meanwhile, TAMS payments are progressing at a steady pace, with €1.609m paid out in the last week.

The total number of applicants now paid stands at 17,265, while the number of investments submitted for payment stands at 18,332 applications.

The total sum paid under the scheme stands at just over €251m paid to date.

It is worth reminding farmers that tranche 20 of the scheme closes for applications in mid-January, with no exact date confirmed as yet. BEEP and ANC

A total of €40.4m was paid to 24,000 farmers participating in the Beef Environment Efficiency Payment - Sucklers (BEEP-S) scheme this week.

The payment was based on farmers submitting the required information on in the region of 530,000 cow-calf pairs.

There was positive news this week with the announcement that schemes, including the BEEP-S, will be rolled over to 2021.

Payments worth €5.98m have also commenced under the European Investment Project (EIP). Included within this fund are payments worth almost €4m paid to some 1,600 farmers participating in the hen harrier scheme.

Protein Aid Scheme

Payments worth €3m were announced earlier this week by Minister of Agriculture Charlie McConalogue under the Protein Aid Scheme.

There was approximately 1,000 farmers in the scheme and the average payment was set at €215/ha.

The financial aid provided under the scheme is targeted at underpinning the growing of beans, peas and lupins as a source of indigenous protein for animal feeds.