The need for the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, to secure a 70% advance payment of the BPS (Basic Payment Scheme) / Greening payment has increased considerably in recent weeks.

This is due to the adverse weather conditions throughout the country that is causing difficulties for all farmers, according to the Deputy President of the ICMSA (Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association), Pat McCormack.

McCormack noted that while the situation in Co. Donegal is particularly bad with local farmers suffering severe losses, right throughout the country – specifically the northern half – land is extremely heavy and wet with cattle having to be housed, while crops remain unharvested in the fields.

The deputy president said that for many years farmers have received a 70% advance payment on October 16. This schedule has been built into loan repayment schedules, while also assuming importance in the context of paying annual income tax payment, he added.

McCormack added that, as it currently stands, farmers in Ireland will only receive a 50% advance payment on October 16 – while farmers in some member states will receive a 70% advance payment.

“We think that there are two compelling reasons – uniformity of payment with other member states and conforming with loan and tax schedules – why the department must move to pay the 70% advance payment no later than 16 October,” the ICMSA Deputy President concluded.

The Department of Agriculture recently confirmed its intentions to issue advance payments in respect of cleared cases under the BPS from October 16 onwards.

Balancing payments will then begin to issue from December 1, the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, confirmed to AgriLand.