GLAS: €17.5 million to be issued to farmers this week

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed has announced the commencement this week of the 2017 balancing payment to GLAS participants.

The balancing payment represents the final 15% of the 2017 scheme-year payment and completes the total payment for GLAS actions undertaken last year.

This week’s payment run is worth over €17.5 million in to 28,000 farmers in the GLAS scheme with a further significant pay-run planned for next week.

Commenting on the payments the minister said: “I am delighted to be commencing these GLAS balancing payments to 28,000 farmers and to be doing so two months earlier than last year.

This comes on top of over 99% of all eligible GLAS participants already being fully up-to-date with their payments under the scheme.

“My department committed at the start of the year to achieving this milestone in mid-May and I am very pleased to be delivering it now as promised,” Minister Creed said.

“This closes out the payment for actions last year to these participants. Our priority now is to continue to make payments to other applicants as they become eligible and we will continue to make weekly payments.”

While the Department of Agriculture expects to pay 28,000 farmers the balancing payment this week, a significant number – approximately 17,000 – of scheme participants need to complete the requirements under the scheme before they can be paid, according to the department.

The most significant outstanding issue for these applicants is the submission of a Farm Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) for GLAS 3 participants.

There are also cases where a Commonage Management Plan (CMP) on the online CMP system needs to be finalised and a smaller number of cases where GLAS 1 and 2 participants have not yet completed their GLAS training.

Participants with outstanding actions have been contacted directly to advise them of how they can proceed.

Commenting on these issues, the minister concluded: “I would encourage all participants to arrange with their advisor to have these outstanding actions completed as soon as possible so that we may make the payment to them.

Today’s announcement means that the GLAS scheme has now paid out over €53 million to Irish farmers since the start of the year and over €350 million since its commencement.

“This is a significant boost to on-farm cashflows especially this year.”