Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue has announced that balancing payments will commence this week under the Green, Low-Carbon Agri-Environment Scheme Plus (GLAS+).

Almost €700,000 in GLAS+ balancing payments will be made to over 3,200 participants in the scheme.

The balancing payment represents the final 15% of the 2020 GLAS+ payment and completes the total payment for GLAS actions undertaken in 2020.

“I am very pleased to be in a position to commence these GLAS+ balancing payments this week to over 3,200 farmers.

“This cohort of participants have undertaken exceptional environmental commitments and are rewarded under GLAS with an additional annual payment of up to €2,000 in respect of 2020,” Minister McConalogue said.

He added: “This payment of €700,000 brings to over €1 billion the total payments made to date in respect of GLAS. I am also pleased to note that over 96% of participants have now been paid in full in respect of their 2020 commitments.”

Payments will continue to issue in any outstanding cases. The minister is calling on farmers with outstanding queries from his department to “respond promptly” to the department to facilitate payments.

The announcement of payments under GLAS comes the day after payments were announced for the Sheep Welfare Scheme.

The 15% balancing payments to all eligible farmers under year four of the Sheep Welfare Scheme will commence in the coming days.

The announcement this morning (Friday, May 28) comes following the end of talks at an EU level this morning to agree to reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) after 2023.

The minister said this morning that this trilogue between the European Parliament, the European Commission and the agriculture ministers in the Council of the EU has ended without agreement.

“Unfortunately [the trilogue] hasn’t reached agreement. It will have to wait until the next time the council recommences,” Minister McConalogue explained.