Suckler payments start
Payments under the Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme kicked off this week, with applications from the first of the 53,000 applicants being cleared.
Close to €30m is to be paid out in respect of eligible 2009-born calves, with the €40/cow payment continuing through the year.
The Department urged applicants to continue to complete and return forms as quickly as possible, and certainly within 12 months of the birth of the animals, and for those making online returns to also do so.
The Department will issue letters in the near future to farmers where there are queries. Farmers seeking clarification regarding query letters are advised to call 1890 252 707.
Meanwhile, IFA president John Bryan has claimed that Ireland could lose up to 20pc of the national Single Farm Payment (SFP) entitlement by moving to an EU-wide flat payment.
Mr Bryan disagreed with recent comments from the incoming EU agriculture commissioner, Damian Ciolos, who stated that reform of the CAP should re-balance the way aid is distributed among regions, farmers and member states.
"The redistribution of CAP funding across the EU, with no account taken of cost structures within individual countries and the contribution of agriculture to national economies, will undermine agricultural production in Ireland and would be a disaster for the rural economy," he said.
He claimed moving away from Ireland's historical basis for calculating SFP entitlements would hit agricultural production and output, and result in a fall-off in exports and national income.