Latest reports suggest a high level of applications to tranche 2 of GLAS which opened to applications in only last week.

In the Budget, Minister Coveney promised that 13,000 would be brought into the scheme. If this is exceeded the IFA has said it will be demanding that all are eligible.

Places in GLAS 2 are filling up fast with over 11,500 applications created to date, according to the Department of Agriculture.

The Department of Agriculture has confirmed to Agriland, that these applications have been made on its online system which went live on November 20 of this month.

According to early indications from the Department of Agriculture, 45% of these applicants will be classified as Tier 1, 20% will be entering the scheme as Tier 2 farmers will the remaining 35% will fall into Tier 3.

IFA Rural Development Chairman Flor McCarthy has said that IFA got a positive response that the closing for GLAS will be extended from next Monday’s December 7 deadline.

At a meeting with the Department of Agriculture, he said IFA made a strong case that more time was needed, given the practical issues that have arisen since the scheme was opened over a month ago.

McCarthy also said with 24,000 farmers having already been accepted into the first phase of GLAS, IFA pointed out to the Department that it was now essential that the remaining 2,000 cases are accepted without any further delay.

It says these cases are being held as verification of Low Input Permanent Pasture is being undertaken.

McCarthy also said that first phase GLAS payments of 85% for 3 months, worth €20m, will be paid out before Christmas.

The remaining 15% payment will be made in the first quarter of 2016. AEOS and outstanding REPS payments have commenced, he said.