11,000 SFP queries this year

The Department of Agriculture has written to 11,000 farmers so far this year with regard to their single farm payment application for 2013. The letters relate to queries with each SFP application.

According to the department: “Where issues preventing payment are identified contact is immediately made with the applicant concerned in order to resolve the query. Work is well underway in resolving the queries that have arisen following these checks and farmers are being contacted as necessary.”

A further five per cent of total applications are also subject to land eligibility inspections.

In total some 122,271 applications under the SFP scheme for 2013 have been received by the Department of Agriculture and, once approved, 50 per cent payment is on course for 16 October, with the balance on 1 December.

Advanced payment was approved by the European Commission earlier this year in recognition of the difficult financial situation faced by many Irish farmers. According to the department, €600m in SFPs will be issued in October.