Farm Ireland
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Friday 20 April 2018

Department gives update on farm payments and scheme inspections currently underway

Farm inspections are a requirement under EU regulations and farm scheme terms and conditions.
Farm inspections are a requirement under EU regulations and farm scheme terms and conditions.
FarmIreland Team

FarmIreland Team

Department of Agriculture IT issues across a number of schemes, including GLAS, KT and TAMS must be resolved immediately so farmers can be paid without further delay, the IFA told a meeting of the Charter of Farmers Rights Monitoring Committee this week.

Speaking following the meeting, IFA Deputy President Richard Kennedy said the Charter review group told the Department IT section that the issues and problems holding back the remaining KT payments, delaying TAMS inspections and on GLAS are causing major problems for individual farmers.

Richard Kennedy said the Department provided an update on the progress regarding online BPS applications this year. He said all applications have to be online in 2018 and already 1,341 farmers of the 16,000 who submitted paper applications last year have lodged their form on-line.

The Department will be writing to farmers over the coming weeks to make sure that they get an online application lodged. In addition, the Department is arranging more than 40 meetings at local level in April to assist any applicants with their online applications.

The IFA Deputy President said it is absolutely essential that all farmers make a BPS online application in 2018. He encouraged any farmer who is having difficulties with this change to online to attend one of the Department meetings or make contact directly with the Department of Agriculture in Portlaoise or to contact the IFA for help.

Inspections

Richard Kennedy said IFA also raised the issue around inspection difficulties following the severe weather last week.

The Department inspection team confirmed to IFA that the Department of Agriculture inspectors will take a flexible and practical approach in regard to any weather related inspection issues and particularly take into account the unique circumstances and any hardship issues on a case-by-case basis.

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The problems that may arise at inspection, resulting from damage to buildings or fields as a result of the weather was put directly to the Department.

For 2018 inspections, the Department confirmed to the Charter review group that they are in the process of reviewing 2017 inspections with a view to making the necessary changes for 2018 to avoid the difficulties and delays that occurred with satellite inspections in 2017.

Sheep farmers who have not already done so are reminded to submit their Sheep Census return without delay as they cannot be paid under any scheme without a completed census form. On the Sheep Welfare Scheme, 20,684 farmers have been paid €16m in advance payments. I

Inspections are currently taking place and expect to be completed by the end of March, which will release the final payment in early Quarter 2, worth €3m.

The Department told the meeting that TAMS inspections will commence in the next two weeks and will be completed without delay, which will in turn clear payments on outstanding cases.

Scheme payments update

Under the major payment schemes, as of March 5 there are 123,211 Basic Payment scheme applicants paid €1.16bn or 99.5% of all applicants. On ANC, to date, there are 94,700 applicants paid a total of €202.6m.

46,000 GLAS applicants have been paid an 85% advance, amounting to €156m. Under the KT scheme, 13,814 farmers have so far received €10.2m.

For the 2017 BDGP Scheme, to date 22,643 farmers have received €40.6m and payments continue to be cleared as the Department receives the necessary information.


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