Early SFP welcomed

News that an early payment of the Single Farm Payment is to be made available to farmers was welcomed this week by Deputy Michael Finneran. The move followed a meeting of the EU Management Committee on Direct Payments in Brussels at which a request by Agriculture Minister Mary Coughlan for early payments was approved. Deputy Finneran made representations to Agriculture Minister Mary Coughlan in July requesting that the possibility of early payment be examined. ‘In Roscommon and Leitrim, and all over the country, farmers saw a serious disruption to their summer harvest as a result of the wet weather,’ said Deputy Finneran. ‘The Department will now be able to make advance payments, at a rate of 50 percent, to applicants whose applications are confirmed fully clear, with effect from October 16th. Balancing payments will then be made with effect from December 1st.’ ‘Minister Coughlan also informed me that she hoped to enable full payments under the Single Farm Payment Scheme from October 16 in future years.’