Farm Ireland

Saturday 24 February 2018

Department still quiet on likely start date of AEOS

There is still no clarification on the start date for the new Agri Environment Options Scheme (AEOS). This is despite widespread speculation that an announcement on the new REPS replacement scheme will be made by the Department of Agriculture later this week.

More than 9,000 farmers applied to the new scheme more than four months ago and they are now waiting anxiously to hear when they can start and if they've been accepted.

It's believed that more than 77pc of applicants will be approved immediately for AEOS when it gets under way. The remaining 2,000 will be given 21 days to re-submit their applications.

Every month the scheme is delayed is costing applicants €350 -- a figure based on the fact that the average annual payment is reported to be €4,200.

The IFA had lobbied for the scheme to start in June, which would have entitled successful applicants to a 2010 payment of €2,100. The likely start date, provided there are no further delays, will be backdated to September 1, which will see participants get a payout of €1,400 for the rest of this year.

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Irish Independent