There is a danger of some participants in the Green, Low-Carbon, Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS) missing out on the first round of advance payments if Commonage Management Plans (CMPs) are not submitted before the deadline of October 31.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, confirmed the possibility in response to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fail’s agriculture spokesperson Charlie McConalogue.

Commenting on the matter, Minister Creed said: “Commonage advisors have been assigned to prepare GLAS CMPs for the commonages involved.

“Information sessions for GLAS advisors on the GLAS online system were held and a video demonstrating the system has been made available.

The online system opened on September 19 with the submit button to finalise CMPs available since October 12.

“CMPs must be submitted before 2017 advance payments can issue and a target of October 31 has been set for the submission of these plans.

“Plans submitted later in the year will continue to be processed for payment, but will likely miss the first round of payments for the 2017 advance,” Minister Creed said.

In excess of 9,000 shareholders across over 3,800 commonages have declared commonage in their GLAS applications, the minister previously explained.

€184 million issued in ANC payments in 2017

Meanwhile, Minister Creed also confirmed that a total of €184 million worth of payments under the Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) scheme has been issued in 2017.

Payments under the scheme commenced as scheduled in the third week of September.

In response to a parliamentary question from Sinn Fein TD Carol Nolan, the minister added that these payments have issued to a total of 85,319 farmers.

Some 100,328 applications were received under the 2017 ANC scheme, but not all of these are currently eligible for payment – as they have not yet fulfilled the necessary stocking requirements under the scheme, the minister explained.

“Applicants have up to the end of the year to fulfil these requirements. Payments are continuing on a rolling basis, as more cases fulfil the eligibility criteria,” Minister Creed said.