The balancing payments under the 2018 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and Greening have now commenced, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, has confirmed.

The commencement of the BPS balancing payments – a balance of 30% – now brings the total paid under the 2018 scheme to date to €1.12 billion to 121,000 farmers.

In addition, more than 90,000 farmers have been paid a total of €217 million under the Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) Scheme to date.

Commenting on the payments, Minister Creed said: “In mid-October, my department began issuing 70% advance payments under the BPS to farmers across the country.

“This year saw an additional 2,000 farmers receive their advance payments on October 16 compared to the same date last year.

This is in part due to the successful transition to 100% online applications for the BPS in 2018, reflecting the benefits to farmers the online application process provides.

Continuing, Creed explained: “Regular pay runs have been in place since October, and I am happy to confirm that the 30% balancing payments under the BPS have now commenced on schedule.”

He added that the payments under the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) are also due to commence shortly.

The minister confirmed that payments under the 2018 National Reserve and the Young Farmers Scheme will also be commencing today.

The minister urged farmers who have outstanding queries from the department to respond as soon as possible in order to facilitate payment.

Concluding, Minister Creed said: “The timely processing of payments across schemes remains a key priority for my department, as I am very aware of the importance of such schemes for the farming community.”