The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney has announced GLAS payments will start issuing this week.

“This is another milestone achieved for the roll-out of GLAS, which has already proved one of the most attractive agri-environment schemes ever offered to Irish farmers. Interest in the second tranche of GLAS has again exceeded expectations, with over 14,000 applications submitted.”

A total of 17,625 farmers with a start date of October 1, 2015, will receive a first instalment payment of what is due for the period October to December. The total value of payments comes to just over €11.5m.

He added that he was particularly pleased to see such a proportion of Tier 1 and Tier 2 applications being submitted in this tranche, which together accounted for 80% of all applications received.

GLAS, first opened in Februrary 2015 and is co-funded by the EU. The scheme aims to focus on the rural environment, focusing in particular on the preservation of various habitats and species, mitigating climate change and improving water quality.

The acronym GLAS stands for Green Low-Carbon Agri-Environment Scheme. It is the new agri-environment scheme, part of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.

It comes after the Rural Environmental Protection Scheme (REPS) and the Agri Environmental Options Scheme (AEOS).