Advance payments of the two main agri-environment schemes, GLAS and AEOS, will commence this week.

The payments will be worth almost €100m and will be welcome payment for the many farmers who are struggling to meet the fodder demands of their livestock.

Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said: “I am pleased that we are meeting our commitment to commence advance payments for these schemes.”

“These payments come on top of an excellent few weeks for payments including allocations under the Basic Payment Scheme, Areas of Natural Constraint and Sheep Welfare schemes.”

“At this stage over €1bn has issued to Irish farmers in recent weeks.”

The advance payment represents 85% of the full payment this year, after Minister Creed secured an increase in the advance payment from the European Commission.

Payment hold-ups

However, the Minister also added that there are significant number of outstanding Nutrient Management Plans, Commonage Management Plans, annual low emission slurry spreading declaration forms and rare breed declaration forms.

The delay in the completion of these forms holds up farm payments, but the Minister stated that GLAS payments would continue on the understanding that farm paperwork was up to date.

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