The Department of Agriculture could be under pressure to send out the GLAS approval letters on time according to Teagasc’s Catherine Keena.

Speaking to Agriland recently, the Teagasc Countryside Management Specialist said the October 1 was first mentioned for the processing of the letters, but to date farmers have not received letters of notification.

Farmers must receive their letters of approval before October 31 to ensure they receive payment before the end of the year.

Another well-known GLAS consultant from glasfarmplanners, Philip Farrelly also said that the farmers will have to be notified and the Department are taking its time about doing so.

The farmers who have applied will have to be notified. The Department said they would be notified in the coming weeks, but they have been saying that for a while now.

However, speaking a Macra’s National Conference in Co. Cork on Friday night, Minister Coveney added that the letters are currently being processed, but failed to give a date for the physical sending of these letters.

He added that he is fully committed to making the first payments under GLAS in Decemeber of this year.

Another representive of the Department added that farmers will be notified whether or not they have been accepted into the scheme, which will also encompass a copy of the terms and conditions.

Thinking of leaving GLAS?

Farmers have the option to leave GLAS once they have been notified of acceptance into the scheme, according to Teagasc’s Catherine Keena.

According to Keena, the Department of Agriculture will have to be notified in writing to inform of the decision to exit the scheme.

Farmers can withdraw from the scheme, but they will have to write to the Department of Agriculture by a certain date to confirm that they want to exit the scheme,” said Keena.

The Department of Agriculture added that farmers will have two weeks after initial notification to inform them of their decision to withdraw from the first Tranche of GLAS.

Keena also added that farmers that wish to exit the scheme at an early stage can also reapply to GLAS at a later date, and this decision will not impact on future applications.

However, she added that the issue over planners fees is  solely a commercial one and it will lie between the planner and the farmer.

Farmers which have not been accepted into the scheme will be informed of the reasons why, says the Department and they will have the opportunity to appeal or resubmit an application for Tranche 2 of GLAS.