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€30m in payments to farmers must be made immediately – IFA

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All outstanding farm scheme payments must be made as a matter urgency in light of the current fodder crisis, according to Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) rural development chairman, Joe Brady.

The IFA said that almost 70,000 farmers are awaiting outstanding payments worth €30m under GLAS and the Sheep Welfare Scheme.

The immediate payment of outstanding monies is one of a number of practical measures the IFA says it has outlined to Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, that could ease the burden on farmers and alleviate cashflow difficulties on farms.

Mr Brady said a number of payments are due to farmers, including €26m in 15 per cent GLAS payments to 48,000 farmers, and €3m in 15 per cent Sheep Welfare Scheme payments to 21,000 farmers.

Mr Brady said the Sheep Welfare payments can be made from April 1, while GLAS payments are due next month, so there is no reason they cannot be paid now. 

He said flexibilities are required in situations where the weather is making adherence to GLAS plans impossible.