Farmers are to receive a welcome cash boost from Monday of next week, with GLAS payments expected to issue.

Earlier this year the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said that payments under the Green Low-carbon Agri-environment Scheme (GLAS) would issue in December.

Some 85% of payments under GLAS 1 and 2 are to commence on Monday, according to a spokesperson from the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) who has been in contact with Department of Agriculture officials.

The spokesperson said that the remaining 15% of payments are to issue in January for GLAS 2. Some of the remaining payments in GLAS 1 may be held up until later in the spring due to inspections needing to take place, he said.

But he said that the Department will strive to issue the payments as soon as possible to farmers.

GLAS 3 closing date

Meanwhile, today December 15 is the closing date for farmers to submit their applications to the third tranche of the scheme.

The Department has received in excess of 16,000 draft applications to the scheme, which only has room for 12,000 farmers.

However, it is as yet unknown at to how many farmers actually submitted these applications.

A statement from the Department to Agriland this week said that the number of applications to be accepted into the third tranche will not be decided until the scheme has closed for applications and will be based on the available funding for scheme.

The Department, as previously indicated, has urged all applicants to select the higher priority actions and assets which would promote their application to a higher tier thereby improving their chances of selection into the scheme.

It is anticipated that approval letters for farmers in GLAS 3 will issue before the end of January 2017 for approval into the scheme with effect from 1 January 2017.

The Department also said that it has no plans to extend the closing date for the scheme past today, December 15.