Farmer participants in the Green, Low-Carbon Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS) and the Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) have until tomorrow to opt into the offer of extending their contracts under these schemes.

Taking to social media to remind farmers of the deadline, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine said there has been a “very positive response” so far to the offer to extend contracts.

As of the latest figures, 96% of participants in GLAS who were asked (via text) if they wanted to extend their contracts have so far responded, with 98% of that number opting to extend their contracts for another year.

On OFS, over 87% of participants have responded to the department, with 97% of that figure saying they wanted to extend their contracts under that scheme.

An extension is also offered under the Beef Data Genomics Programme (BDGP), though this extension has a later closing date of January 15.

As of Tuesday of last week, just under half (48%) of BDGP farmers had responded to the department’s offer to extend their participation, with 97% of these applying to continue in the scheme into next year.

Speaking last week, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue said: “I am delighted by the level of interest shown to date by farmers in extending their contract under these schemes.

The provision of funding in Budget 2021, for the continuation of these schemes for those farmers has been justified by the huge level of uptake. These schemes are important income support for farmers as well as helping drive our climate, organic an sustainable beef production agendas,” Minister McConalogue had added.