The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., has announced that almost €10m in GLAS balancing payments are issuing to 15,000 farmers in the GLAS 1 and 2 scheme. A huge welcome to farmers everywhere, the news of course will be gladly greeted here in Donegal as elsewhere.
The balancing payment represents the final 15% of the 2016 payment and completes the total payment for GLAS actions undertaken last year for 15,000 farmers. Today’s payment of just under €10m brings to over €138m the total payments made to date in respect of GLAS 2016.
Commenting on the payments the Minister said “I am delighted to be commencing these GLAS balancing payments on schedule to almost 15,000 farmers today. This closes out the payment for actions last year to these participants. Our priority now is to continue to make payments to other eligible applicants and we will continue to make weekly payments to other eligible participants.”
The Minister added “The most significant outstanding issue for these applicants is the submission of a Farm Nutrient Management Plan (NMP). This is one of the four core actions set out at the start of the scheme to all GLAS participants. It was made one of the core actions due to the significant economic and environmental benefits which an NMP can have for a farmer in determining how best to manage their holding. The 2016 balancing payment to GLAS I and GLAS II participants can only be made when the plan has been submitted and I would encourage all GLAS participants to work with their advisor and have this plan submitted as soon as possible”.
The Minister concluded by noting that there are some GLAS applicants who have applied for a 2016 advance payment but have to submit relevant documentation or other information to the Department. The Minister encouraged these applicants to respond to the Department as quickly as possible in order to try and advance their payment.