Over €800m in EU cash due to start flowing this week to 124,000 farmers
Farm leaders call for speedy delivery of Basic Payments
More than €800m is due to flow into farmers' accounts today as the initial 70pc instalment of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) is paid out to 124,000 applicants.
The IFA and ICMSA have urged that delays in payments should be minimised this year, given the additional cost burdens that have built up at farm level through the year.
IFA deputy president Richard Kennedy said farmers wanted to see the benefits of the online system under which all applications had to be made this year.
"The Department (of Agriculture) gave commitments that they expect a big pay run this week. It's essential as farmers across all sectors have gone through a very difficult year, with severe weather conditions affecting yields, higher feed costs and poor product prices," Mr Kennedy said.
This view was shared by Lorcan McCabe of the ICMSA, who said the "absolute and overriding priority" had to be on ensuring that the BPS payments were received on time and that any delays were explained and a revised schedule given to the farmer.
Mr McCabe said many farmers had repayment plans to financial institutions, merchants and vets were timed around this week's payments, and it was therefore incumbent upon the Department to deliver the BPS on schedule.
Feed mills and merchants estimate that farmer credit this year is 25-30pc higher than normal, due mainly to the increased levels of feeding because of the late spring and the summer drought.
While one compound feed provider in the south admitted that he would be "on the phone to lads this week" regarding bills, he maintained that most customers had already started to sort out repayments.