Given the seriousness of the fodder situation in parts of the country, particularly in the north-west, it is imperative that all Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payments are made without any further delay, IFA deputy president, Richard Kennedy, has insisted.
Around 11,000 farmers have yet to receive their advance BPS payment of 70 per cent. The main issues holding up payments are inspections, including satellite inspections, digitisation, transfers, dual claims and over claims. These issues must be resolved without delay, Richard said. He acknowledged the commencement of Knowledge Transfer payments and said it is important that the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, proceeds with GLAS payments to 50,000 farmers who are due their 2017 payment. Payment delays under GLAS will not be tolerated by farmers given the difficulties that arose with last year’s payment.
Richard also called on farmers in GLAS I and II, who have not yet submitted their nutrient-management plans to do so immediately, as they cannot be paid their final 15 per cent for 2016 until the plan is submitted, and their 2017 payment will also be held up.
In relation to commonage plans, Richard Kennedy said it is important that farmers continue to send in their plans, even though the deadline of October 31 has now passed. IFA has received a commitment from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine that payments will be made once commonage plans are submitted.
Payments under the Sheep Welfare Scheme, the Beef Data Genomics Programme and the Organic Scheme, are also due to farmers before the end of the year.
The IFA operates a payments helpline service for those farmers seeking advice (see ifa.ie).