Approval letters for Tranche 1 of GLAS are expected to be finalised before the end of this week, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Over 27,000 farmers applied for the first tranche of this new environmental scheme and these farmers are set to receive notification from the Department of Agriculture regarding their participation shortly.

According to the Department of Agriculture, the letters are currently in the process of being validated and assessed.

The batch run for approvals is expected before the end of week and letters will then be issued immediately to all of the  27,000 applicants, it says.

The Department also said that the final validation process had to occur before October 31 to ensure the planned first payment which is set to occur in December of this year.

Farmers entering GLAS can avail of a maximum payment of €5,000 on an annual basis following succesful admittance into the environmental scheme.

Speaking at a recent event the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said that his department has every intention of making the first payment in December 2015.

This announcement by the Department of Agriculture further strengthens the possibility that these payments will be made in December of this year.

Thinking Of Leaving GLAS?

Farmers have the option to leave GLAS once they have been notified of acceptance into the scheme, according to Teagasc’s Catherine Keena.

According to Keena, the Department of Agriculture will have to be notified in writing to inform of the decision to exit the scheme.

Farmers can withdraw from the scheme, but they will have to write to the Department of Agriculture by a certain date to confirm that they want to exit the scheme,” said Keena.

The Department of Agriculture added that farmers will have two weeks after initial notification to inform them of their decision to withdraw from the first Tranche of GLAS.

Keena also added that farmers that wish to exit the scheme at an early stage can also reapply to GLAS at a later date, and this decision will not impact on future applications.

However, she added that the issue over planners fees is  solely a commercial one and it will lie between the planner and the farmer.

Farmers which have not been accepted into the scheme will be informed of the reasons why, says the Department and they will have the opportunity to appeal or resubmit an application forTranche 2 of GLAS.