More than 3,100 farmers will start to receive balancing payments under the Green Low-Carbon Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS) to the tune of €650,000, it has been announced (Thursday, June 30).

These payments are directed to GLAS farmers who undertook “exceptional environmental commitments” in 2021. Such commitments guarantee an additional annual income of €2,000, under what is referred to as GLAS+.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, said the payments issuing this week comprise the final 15% of the 2021 GLAS+ payments.

Commenting, Minister McConalogue said: “I am very pleased to be announcing the commencement of these GLAS+ balancing payments, as it means that almost €650,000 will be made to over 3,100 GLAS participants.”

The minister said this brings the total amount paid to farmers under GLAS to over €1.18 billion, and more than 95% of GLAS participants have now been paid in full for 2021.

The Minister added: “The delivery of environmental benefits continues to be a key objective, given the number of challenges we face as regards climate change, loss of biodiversity and water quality.

“Earlier this week, I launched a new agri-environmental climate measure, to succeed GLAS called ACRES (Agri Climate Rural Environment Scheme) which is currently with the EU Commission for approval. 

“Our intention is that this will commence on January 1, 2023.

“The commitment of €1.5 billion scheme to ACRES over the lifetime of the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) demonstrates the commitment of the government to facilitate the delivery of climate, environmental and biodiversity benefits while supporting farm incomes,” the minister said.