Department of Agriculture checks are now nearing completion and AEOS payments in respect of the 2014 scheme year will commence shortly according to the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney.

The Minister said area-based schemes under the Rural Development Programme 2007-13 are subject to EU Regulations which require detailed administrative checks on all applications, including cross checks with the Land Parcel Identification System, to be completed before payments can issue.

He said these rigorous procedures, together with on-farm inspections, apply to a number of scheme payments including the Agri-environment Options Scheme (AEOS) and are necessary to ensure that applications meet the scheme conditions and cross-compliance requirements.

Last year the Department of Agriculture made €50m worth of payments for 2013 under AEOS1, AEOS 2 and REPS 4 have commenced in the last week of November.

IFA Deputy President Tim O’Leary also recently called for REPS 4 and AEOS payments to commence to the 37,000 farmers who are due an agri-environment payment this year. He said that there is no reason why the first 75% of the payment due cannot now be made.