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At a meeting of the Charter of Rights Monitoring Committee this week, the Department of Agriculture inspection team confirmed to IFA that the Department of Agriculture inspectors will take a flexible and practical approach in regard to any weather related inspection issues and particularly take into account the unique circumstances and any hardship issues on a case-by-case basis.

For 2018 inspections, the Department confirmed to the Charter review group that they are in the process of reviewing 2017 inspections with a view to making the necessary changes for 2018 to avoid the difficulties and delays that occurred with satellite inspections in 2017.

Sheep farmers who have not already done so are reminded to submit their Sheep Census return without delay as they cannot be paid under any scheme without a completed census form. On the Sheep Welfare Scheme, 20,684 farmers have been paid €16m in advance payments. Inspections are currently taking place and expect to be completed by the end of March, which will release the final payment in early Quarter 2, worth €3m.

IFA Rural Development Chairman Joe Brady has insisted that all of the funding of €624m allocated to RDP measures for 2018 in this week’s Budget must be used across the wide range of schemes, which play a vital role in supporting farm incomes.

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A total of €1.7bn in farm scheme payments is due to farmers before the end of the year. Find out when you can expect your payments.

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If you are a young farmer or a new entrant to farming, take a look at some of the enhanced schemes and tax credits available to you.

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IFA Deputy President Tim O Leary said the backlog on payments under the Basic Payment Scheme is unacceptable and the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney must intervene with the Department to remove the barriers preventing an advance payment to all farmers at this stage.

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