8,000 to apply for AEOS
Just 3,600 applications for the Agri-Environment Options Scheme were made by last Friday but a flood of applications were expected yesterday.
Industry sources say the final number of farmer applications will be in the region of 8,000.
The IFA said it had received several complaints from farmers of overcharging by planners.
The IFA has slammed the decision by Teagasc to stick to their annual REPS 4 charge when dealing with AEOS cases. This charge is calculated on the number of hectares the farmer works. However, as the AEOS is not a 'whole-farm' scheme, the IFA claimed REPS 4 approach should not be applied when calculating AEOS charges.
IFA Rural Development Chairman Tom Turley said that instances of overcharging will be highlighted and refunds to farmers will be sought where it is evident that the charges in no way relate to the amount of work required on applications.
Meanwhile, applications for the single farm payment closed yesterday but farmers can amend applications until May 31. There is also a 25-day period after May 17 during which late applications may be submitted, but applications received during this period will be subject to late penalties.