IFA Hill Committee Chairman Pat Dunne has said problems that have emerged on some commonages must be resolved, and GLAS payments must be made to all 7,000 farmers who have joined the scheme since 2015.
Many hill farmers have already incurred significant costs such as planning fees and general compliance costs resulting in serious cash flow difficulties.
Pat Dunne has told the Department that farmers on the 77 commonages where the Teagasc/FRS planner has departed the service must not be left high and dry.
IFA has already requested that all of the farmers involved be paid at the same time as all other farmers. The Department must appoint planners to each commonage to carry out the commonage plan before the March 2017 deadline by which all CMPs must be lodged. It is expected that a further 3,500 commonage farmers will join the third phase of GLAS, which opened in early November and closes on December 15th.
In relation to general GLAS payments, the hill farmer leader said that with income under pressure due to low market returns, all direct payments must now be made. GLAS payments are worth around €40m to hill farmers.
In addition, he said, all outstanding ANC and BDGP payments, and the final 30% BPS payment, which are now due, are vital to sustain hill farming which is under severe pressure.