The 2017 advance payments for the two main agri-environment schemes are commencing this week, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, announced today.

The two schemes – the Green, Low-Carbon, Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS) and the Agri-Environment Options Scheme (AEOS) – are both co-funded by the European Union under Ireland’s Rural Development Programme.

Speaking on the matter, Minister Creed said: “I am pleased that we are meeting our commitment to commence advance payments for these schemes. Payments worth close to €100 million will be landing in farmers’ bank accounts this week.

“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,” the minister said.

At this stage over €1 billion has issued to Irish farmers in recent weeks.

Advance payments represent 85% of the full year payment for 2017, after the minister secured permission from the European Commission for a higher advance payment rate for farmers this year.

2017 AEOS payments will also commence to the 2,200 participants who are still in that scheme. GLAS payments are issuing this year on a structured rolling basis, with payments to continue to issue on an ongoing manner with a number of further pay-runs expected before the end of the year.

Minister Creed added: “We will be continuing to make GLAS advance payments in the coming weeks. Unfortunately, there are still a significant number of participants whose applications are incomplete at this point because they have yet to return outstanding documentation.

This includes significant numbers of outstanding Nutrient Management Plans, Commonage Management Plans, annual Low Emission Slurry Spreading Declaration Forms and Rare Breed Declaration Forms; farmers should speak to their advisors as soon as possible if they want to receive this payment.

“We will continue to make further GLAS payments over the next few weeks, subject to the eligibility of the participants being resolved,” the minister concluded.