Some of the 30,000 REPS farmers may escape planned cuts in REPS payments, it has emerged.
Farmers whose entire farms are in a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) or Special Protection Area (SPA), as well as farmers signed up to certain supplementary measures, may escape without any payment cut.
It is believed that up to 4,000 farmers could escape.
Nonetheless, IFA rural development chairman Flor McCarthy remains highly critical of the cut in REPS payments.
Text message is genuine -- Dept
The Department of Agriculture has moved to reassure farmers that a text message received from the number 50123 is a genuine Department of Agriculture communication.
It is understood that some farmers were wary of responding to the message in case it was a scam of some sort.
The message reads: "The Dept of Agriculture Food & the Marine intends to use this number to send you information messages in the future. To opt out freetext DAFM OPTOUT to 50123."
20,000 set for Punchestown
More than 20,000 visitors are expected to descend on Punchestown Racecourse, Co Kildare, for the All Ireland Sheep Shearing and Wool Handling Championships in June.
The event, which will take place on the bank holiday weekend, June 2-3, was officially launched by Minister of State Shane McEntee on Friday.
The championships will feature the best of Ireland's sheep shearers, as well as the world's leading shearers from Australia, New Zealand, and Great Britain in a series of competitions.