Only half the anticipated final number of GLAS applications have been submitted on the Department of Agriculture’s online system with Friday’s deadline fast approaching.

Latest figures from the Department of Agriculture show that to date 33,740 applications have been created on the system with some 27,033 of those with applications selected.

The number of completed applications submitted to the GLAS system as of yesterday (May 19) was 13,049. This is less than half of Minister Coveney’s anticipated 25,000 applications.

The submit facility on the GLAS online system was activated two weeks ago and meant that applications could formally be submitted on the Departments online system.

Minister Coveney said recently that the initial response to GLAS has been positive.

He described the numbers in the scheme as a remarkable achievement from everybody involved from farmers to planners and also those working in the Department to make it happen.

The Minster said last week that on the basis of progress to date, he would estimate in the region of 25,000 GLAS applications will be submitted before the closing date of May 22.

“This is very much in line with our earlier projections,” he said.

The Minister confirmed that, after the closing date, the Department will begin ranking and validating applications.

He said it is anticipated GLAS contracts will commence for those in the first tranche from October 1 with an estimated expenditure of €20m this year.

For those who can’t get there application in for May 22, the Minister said the Department is planning to reopen GLAS again for submissions in September.

According to the Minister farmers in the second tranche will formally be in GLAS for January 1.

“By next year we will have about 35,000 farmers in GLAS. That’s that plan,” he said.