Some 88% of farmers have returned Low Emission Slurry Spreading (LESS) forms under GLAS to the Department of Agriculture, latest figures from the Department show.

The deadline for submitting Low Emission Slurry Spreading forms under GLAS was November 15.

A spokesperson for the Department has said that there is no penalty for GLAS participants who have not returned their forms yet.

“Forms will continue to be processed as they are received, However, as indicated in the GLAS specification, an annual slurry declaration must be returned to the Department.”

To avoid possible payment delays, participants are advised that outstanding forms should be returned immediately.

The latest figures from the Department, up to close of business on November 21, 2016 are that 90% of farmers in GLAS 1 have returned their completed forms, while 86% of farmers in GLAS 2 have returned their LESS forms.

These forms continue to be processed on an ongoing basis, the spokesperson said. Some 2,200 farmes were issued with declaration forms from the Department.

Earlier this month it was reported that farmers who fail to complete their annual LESS declaration and claim form, may result in them becoming ineligible for payment for the action and/or GLAS itself.

Under the Low-Emission Slurry Spreading action, farmers must also give details of the following on their slurry declaration form:

  • Dates of spreading.
  • Spread method.
  • Volume of slurry produced on the holding.
  • Volume imported.
  • Total volume spread using new technology.
  • LPIS numbers where the slurry was applied.

Meanwhile, following a meeting with the Department of Agriculture this week, IFA Rural Development Chairman Joe Brady demanded that GLAS and TAMS payments be moved on as the delays are totally unacceptable.

Joe Brady said GLAS payments are a vital lifeline for thousands of farmers.

With 38,000 due a payment (26,000 joined in May 2015), all farmers have incurred costs to comply, including planning fees and as a result, cashflow difficulties have emerged on many of these farms, he said.

The IFA Rural Development Chairman reminded the Department of the Charter of Rights commitment that payments would commence in October.

“This commitment has not been honoured and it is up to Minister Creed to intervene in this matter urgently.”