The key issue for farmers, following the announcement of payment dates for Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) schemes is that all farmers receive their payment on time, according to the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA).

Speaking on the matter, ICMSA deputy president Lorcan McCabe stressed that, in this regard, it is essential that the department notify any farmers with a problem with their BPS application by Sunday, September 1, as agreed under the Farmers’ Charter.

McCabe said: “The ICMSA acknowledges the progress made over the last number of years in terms of getting payments out on time.

But this year of all years it’s more important than ever that every farmer needs to get his or her payment on time – and, for this to be achieved, any problems with applications must be notified immediately in order to give the farmer time to resolve the issue.

The deputy president added that, in light of the cash-flow pressures on the beef side in particular, but also other sectors – and with Brexit pending – there are serious pressures on farmers and it is essential that the ANC payment is made as early as possible in September.

Also, the BPS payment on October 16, and all other payments, including the Green Low-Carbon Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS), need to be paid as agreed under the Farmers’ Charter, he said.

“We think that the department should be proactive on this and actually text farmers an assurance that everything is in order and they can expect to be paid on time,” McCabe said.

“Farmers have financial commitments to meet and the payment of various scheme payments on time is absolutely critical,” the deputy president concluded.