Planners’ fury over Department text message to farmers
Angry planners believe the Department of Agriculture has attempted to lay the blame for delays to GLAS payments at their doors.
Advisors stated the Department online system for submitting nutrient management plans (NMPs) has only gone live in the last few weeks after it was hit by computer glitches.
However, they have reacted with anger after the Department sent out a text asking: “Has your GLAS advisor sent in your nutrient management plan? If not, they must do so for your balancing payment to issue shortly.”
Over 22,000 GLAS applicants are awaiting the last 15pc of their payments as NMPs have not been submitted.
“I think it is totally and absolutely wrong for the Department of Agriculture to send out a text to farmers effectively blaming their agriculture consultant for their failure to receive their 15pc payment,” said Carlow-based consultant Pat Minnock.
“We have been waiting patiently for the facility to submit this for over two years and it has only gone live in the last few weeks. Once it went live, the Department have moved to push the blame on to us.”
Mr Minnock said the NMPs are also not fit for purpose at this stage.
“This is mid-June. The NMP was needed for early spring to plan, not now when all fertilisers have been applied. We must also pay Teagasc for this service even though we had to use our own system for all the actual NMP.”