IFA Rural Development Chairman, Joe Brady has told the Department of Agriculture that farmers will not tolerate delays to their GLAS payments for 2017, and expect that the problems encountered in the 2016 payment year are not repeated.
At a meeting with the Department of Agriculture this week, Joe Brady said farmers in GLAS have already incurred significant costs of compliance and have paid planning fees, and they need payments to be made on time to avoid serious cash flow problems.
GLAS payments for 2017 are worth €220m and are due to 50,000 farmers.
At the meeting this week, the Department of Agriculture informed IFA that GLAS payments will commence in November. IFA insisted that all farmers must be paid swiftly.
In addition, IFA has sought an increase to 85% in the advance payment made in November.
Outstanding payments for 2016
The Department of Agriculture has informed IFA that GLAS payments for 2016 to 850 farmers are currently held up for various reasons. IFA insisted to the Department that all of these farmers must be paid without delay and any issue holding up payment must be resolved.
With regard to the final 15% payment for 2016, 11,000 farmers are still awaiting payment. The main reason they have not yet been paid is because their Nutrient Management Plan has not yet been submitted. IFA is urging such farmers to contact their planners to ensure the plan is submitted without delay. Failure to submit the plan will not only hold up the final 15% 2016 payment, but will delay 2017 payments.
At the meeting with the Department, IFA National Hill Farming Committee Chairman Pat Dunne highlighted the need for GLAS in commonages to run smoothly. Commonage Management Plans must be submitted before the end of October and with 9,000 commonage farmers in GLAS, Pat Dunne urged planners to complete the plans immediately.