Advance payment eligibility issues for almost 10,000 GLAS applicants

It has arisen that almost 10,000 applicants in the Green, Low-Carbon, Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS) are not currently eligible for 2017 advance payments.

Last week the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine commenced issuing 2017 advance payments for GLAS.

A total of €91 million was issued in the payment run, in addition to some €5 million of Agri-Environment Options Scheme (AEOS) payments. This brings the total amount paid out under GLAS to date in 2017 to €146 million, according to the department.

Weekly 2017 advance payments are set to run to eligible applicants in the coming weeks. The department expect to pay a further €20 million to 5,500 applicants this week – with a further pay run planned for next week.

However, the department has indicated that almost 10,000 GLAS applicants are not currently eligible for a payment for a number of reasons.

One such reason could be that the applicants have yet to submit – or have incorrectly submitted – their annual Low-Emission Slurry Spreading (LESS) form.

It is understood that the the majority of applicants who correctly submitted their LESS form on time have now been paid their 2017 GLAS advance payment. Those who have not been paid the advance reportedly received a text message this week encouraging them to return their form if they wish to be paid.

Meanwhile, there are still some 2,800 outstanding Nutrient Management Plans (NMPs) in respect of GLAS I and GLAS II participants, according to the department; applicants are encouraged to contact their advisors directly to have these submitted.

As well as this, for 4,000 participants the Commonage Management Plan (CMP) requirements had not been met by the participants’ commonage advisors. Again, relevant applicants should contact their commonage advisor.

Other reasons for ineligibility for advance payment include outstanding Rare Breeds Forms or the non-submission of a 2017 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) application.

The remaining cases are currently being checked against the department’s databases and once these cases pass validation checks, they will be included in future payment runs.

In the event where action is needed by the participant concerned, the department will be in direct contact with them.

GLAS training

In relation to GLAS training, all GLAS I and II participants are reminded that they must complete their one-day training before December 31, 2017.

If they fail to meet this requirement, their payments may be affected. The department will be commencing the payment of €158 for eligible farmers who have completed training by the end of this month.

This money will be paid to the course facilitator who will distribute it to the course participants directly. Furthermore, the payments to facilitators who provide GLAS training will depend on the submission of proof that their client farmers have received their payment.

Subject to this being in order, the payments to GLAS facilitators will commence in mid-January, the department confirmed.