All outstanding farm scheme payments must be made as a matter urgency in light of the current fodder crisis, IFA Rural Development Chairman Joe Brady has insisted.
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 IFA has outlined to Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed that he should take to ease the burden on farmers and alleviate serious cash flow difficulties on farms.
Joe Brady said a number of payments are due to farmers, including €26m in 15% GLAS payments to 48,000 farmers and €3m in 15% Sheep Welfare Scheme payments to 21,000 farmers.
Joe Brady said the Sheep Welfare payments can be made from April 1st while GLAS payments are due next month so there is no reason they cannot be paid now.
In addition, Joe Brady said flexibilities are required in situations where the weather is making adherence to GLAS plans impossible.
In relation to the closed period for Traditional Hay Meadow, the closing date should be extended to the end of April. Flexibility should be provided in relation to other GLAS measures such as Low Input Grassland to ensure farmers can maximise any grazing opportunity.