Eligible area issue set to delay first payments
The first of this year's farm payments are due to start next week.
One hundred percent of the €220m Disadvantaged Area fund has traditionally been paid to farmers with error-free applications in the third week in September.
However, for the first time it looks unlikely that farmers will be in line to receive the full amount of their payments next week due to the problems regarding eligible areas that emerged earlier this year.
An EU audit ruled that certain areas, such as scrub, were ineligible for area-based payments. Ninety-thousand land maps are in the process of being revised as a result and this process will not be completed for some time.
The IFA's Tom Turley said that the payments should be made in full to farmers as quickly as possible.
He said that any refunds due to changes in map areas could be clawed back through the single farm payments, which are due to kick off on October 15. Negotiations between the IFA and the Department of Agriculture are continuing.