A total of €76.5 million is to be paid out to more than 17,000 farmers who are participating in the Agri Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES) in the coming days.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue today (Friday, December 15) confirmed the start of the advance payments for Tranche 1 of the scheme.

The average payment issuing this week is almost €4,500 for an individual farmer.

This is the first pay run for the scheme and includes all General participants that have “cleared payment validations”.

According to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) Co-operation advance payments will begin to issue in February 2024.

The minister has come under severe criticism from farm organisations over the delay in payments for farmers in Co-operation with claims that the delay was “unacceptable”.

Minister McConalogue also said that there has been “a significant response” to the Non-Productive Investments (NPIs) option under the Co-operation (CP) stream and confirmed that just under 9,200 applications have been received under Tranche 2 of ACRES.

The majority of these applications have been submitted under the the General stream, with 30% of applicants applying under Co-operation.  

Tranche 2 can only accommodate 4,000 farmers.


According to MInister McConalogue successful Tranche 2 applicants will be contacted by the DAFM in the first quarter of 2024.

The minister added: “With the aim of improving both our environmental ambition and increasing our farm income support, I approved over 46,000 applications into ACRES earlier this year.

“It has not been without its challenges, but I want to acknowledge the intensive and focused efforts of all involved in the implementation of the scheme – of farmers, of advisors, of the ACRES Co-operation Project teams and of officials across government – who have all been working together on the first year of this new scheme. 

“This ambition, and willingness to protect farm habitats, is also reflected in the significant number of Non-Productive Investment applications submitted by ACRES Co-operation Project farmers.

“My department will continue, as a priority, to work on delivering all outstanding ACRES General payments as soon as possible, and on the commencement of ACRES CP payments in February 2024.”