Suckler farmers face delay for full payment on 2014 scheme
PAYMENTS to farmers in the 2014 suckler scheme are due to be slashed by a fifth when they are issued over the next week, it has been confirmed by the Department of Agriculture.
The Agriculture Department said the payments to 32,000 suckler cow farmers under the 2014 Beef Data Programme will represent an 80pc 'advance'.
It stated a "balancing payment" will issue when information on autumn born calves has been finalised.
The Department said the total funding to 32,000 farmers will be similar to the €9.18m paid in 2013 to 26,715 farmers.
Details on the two-stage payment followed an inquiry from Farming Independent to the Department requesting clarification on a possible cut.
"I am delighted to say that there has been a 21pc increase in the participation level in the Programme this year with 5,700 new suckler farmers being paid this year.
"These figures are a vote of confidence in the Irish beef industry and its future," Minister Simon Coveney stated.
ICMSA president John Comer has described as "very disappointing" that at this late stage the Department is apparently preparing to "divide the payments expected" with an "unspecified" balancing payment to come.