The Department of Agriculture will be prioritising applications to tranche 2 of GLAS from Tier 1 and 2 farmers the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney has said.

Some 14,000 farmers applied to tranche 2 of GLAS which closed to applications before Christmas.

The Department has said of the submitted applications 50% were tier 1, 30% tier 2 and remainder were Tier 3. The Minister for Agriculture had previously indicated that there would be 10,000-13,000 places available under GLAS 2.

This means that in the region of 2,800 farmers in Tier 3 face uncertainty over their acceptance into the scheme.

This week, the Minister in response to questioning from Fianna Fail’s Éamon Ó Cuív said he is ‘very pleased’ that over 14,000 applications have been submitted under the second tranche of the GLAS Scheme.

“This is a continuing testament to the success and attractiveness of this new agri-environment scheme,” he said.

According to the Minister all applications must now be assessed in line with the requirements set out in the scheme’s Terms and Conditions.

“My Department is currently processing these applications and all applicants will be notified in writing of the outcome of their application.

“As I have indicated already, priority under the scheme will at all times be given to Tier 1 and Tier 2 candidates and I am happy to say that 80% of the applications received fall into these two categories,” he said.

GLAS 2 payment

The Minster also said that the commencement date for GLAS Tranche 2 approved applications will be January 1, 2016.

“Successful applications will have a contract commencement date of 1 January 2016. As with other agri-environment schemes, such as REPS and AEOS, first instalments of the annual payments are generally made in the last quarter of the year in question.

“For 2016, it is planned that a 75% first instalment of the GLAS premium will issue before the end of this year,” he said.