Minister Creed confident that 70% advance BPS payments will be issued

There is an increasing possibility that Irish farmers will receive 70% advance Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and Greening payments in October.

It was recently confirmed by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, that advance BPS and Greening payments would be issued to farmers from October 16.

Balancing payments would then begin to be issued from December 1 onwards, he added. As it stands Irish farmers will receive an advance payment of 50%.

However, the department has recently applied to the European Commission for permission to increase this advance payment to 70%, as was the case last year.

If this request was accepted, Ireland would join 10 other member states who have received clearance to up the advance payment to be issued to farmers to 70%.

Speaking at the opening of Lakeland Dairies’ new €40 million expansion of its milk powder plant in Bailieboro, Co. Cavan yesterday, Minister Creed was optimistic that this application would be passed.

We’re in that process at the moment and it’s too early too say, but I’m confident that we can progress that matter.

Calls for Minister Creed to push for approval to increase the level of advance payments to 70% have been echoed by a number of farm organisations and TDs.

Meanwhile, the minister was also confident that upcoming payments under the Green, Low-Carbon, Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS) will be issued to farmers in a much more seamless manner than last year.

“I think it is important to say that we have paid over 97% of GLAS applicants, and that’s comparable with any other scheme. We haven’t hidden from the fact that we had initial difficulties in that area.

“I’m confident that those difficulties have now been resolved and I’m confident that when we press the pay button – in respect of the next payment of GLAS – that we will have a seamless issuing of payments,” Minister Creed added.

GLAS participants have also been recently reminded of the importance of ensuring that their Nutrient Management Plans (NMP) are submitted to the department in order for payments to be processed.