Payments, worth over €620m to in excess of 100,000 farmers, have begun issuing today.

It comes following the announcement by the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, of the commencement of advance payments under the 2015 Basic Payment Scheme and the Greening Payment.

Following recent discussions with the EU Commission, the Minister confirmed that the level of the advance payment is set at 70% for 2015 rather than 50% as in previous years.

This has resulted in a significant increase (€140m) in the value of advance payments made to farmers in 2015.

The Minister also confirmed that payments under the Young Farmers Scheme, National Reserve and the coupled Protein Aid would commence in December 2015.

Payments to farmers under the Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) Scheme also continue to issue as cases are confirmed for payment. Under the ANC Scheme, in excess of €155 million has now issued to nearly 74,000 farmers since payments commenced on 23 September.

“It is particularly important given the need to maximise cash flow across the various agricultural sectors that these payments are commencing on the earliest possible date provided for under EU legislation and well ahead of many other Member States,” he said.

Minister Coveney added that the initial advance of the BPS and Greening Payment, together with ANC payments, means approximately €775 million will have issued to Irish farmers under these Schemes in the last month alone.

2This represents a very significant financial boost for both individual farmers and the wider rural economy,” he said.

The Minister also said that he was delighted with the number of farmers who will receive immediate payment given the need to allocate new payment entitlements under the Basic Payment Scheme and the introduction of a new payment in the Greening Payment”.

He added that despite the fact the Basic Payment Scheme and Greening Payment are separate measures, arrangements have been made to combine the payments as one for transfer to the bank account of individual farmers in order to simplify the process and maximise the economic impact.

The Minister indicated that advance payments will continue issuing regularly up until late November, with balancing payments to issue from the 1st of December.

“I can assure farmers that payments will continue to issue under both Schemes, on an ongoing basis, as individual cases are cleared.

“My aim continues to be to maximise payments to farmers at the earliest possible date, subject to the necessary requirements of the Schemes being met,” he said.