A total of just under 14,000 applications were submitted under the third tranche of the Green Low-carbon Agri-environment Scheme (GLAS 3), according to the Department of Agriculture.

Over 16,000 draft applications were made on the Department’s website.

The analysis of the breakdown of these figures is underway with a decision on the number of farmers accepted into the scheme being made when this analysis is complete.

It is anticipated that GLAS 3 approval letters will issue to applicants before the end of January 2017 for approval into the scheme with effect from January 1 2017, according to the Department.

Based on the GLAS 3 plans that were submitted last week, almost 95% were either Tier 1 or 2.

There is only room for 12,000 farmers in this tranche of the scheme.

GLAS advisors were urged to submit the highest standard environmental plans under GLAS 3 and to adopt actions that would promote them to from Tier 3 to a higher tier to increase their chance of selection into the scheme.

The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed has been called on to ensure that all eligible farmers are accepted in to GLAS 3.

ICSA Rural Development Chairman Seamus Sherlock has said he hopes Minister Creed will allow all eligible farmers who have applied to the third tranche of GLAS to participate in the scheme.

“GLAS has proven to be a hugely popular scheme and the signals are that it has been once again oversubscribed by a significant number.

“The scheme is vital for farmers and with farming incomes so low across all sectors, this payment is a much needed boost to assist farmers with their cash flow.

“I would urge Minister Creed to make every effort not to deny eligible farmers from this much needed income source as it can make a real difference in the lives of farming families.”