The average GLAS payments made to farmers are expected to be “quite close to the maximum payment of €5,000“, according to the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney.

Speaking in the Dail recently, the Minister said that his Department is budgeting for that amount.

“We haven’t finalised the exact number that will be in [the scheme] yet, but the expectation and what we’re budgeting for will be quite close to the maximum payment of €5,000,” he said.

Some 27,000 applications were made to the first tranche of GLAS and approval letters started issuing in October.

Some 400 applications have not met requirements of the scheme, the Minister said.

“The Department will issue, before the end of this year, 85% of the 2015 part-year payments for all applications that have been approved.

The closing date for submissions to tranche two is December 7. There has been over 10,000 applications registered online.

“With a further two weeks to go, uptake will be significant and will possibly exceed expectations,” the Minister said.

The Minister said that his Department expects that it will get more than 10,000 applications to tranche two and that the Department won’t be short applications.

“If we go over 40,000 applications we have to be sure we can budget for the numbers. We want to get up to 50,000,” he said.