Pay up, urges IFA

At a recent meeting with the Department of Agriculture, IFA called for the maximum pay-out of this year’s farm schemes given the difficulties arising from Covid-19 restrictions.

IFA Deputy President Brian Rushe, who led the IFA delegation, said that given the restrictions in place at the time of application – the postponement of clinics and remote working in the Department of Agriculture – every effort must be made to issue all payments that are due.

“IFA urged the Department to put in place alternative arrangements for farmers who normally attend the very important clinics at the Department of Agriculture Stand at the Ploughing Championships, which isn’t taking place due to the Covid-19 restrictions. The Department committed to putting in more resources through a dedicated telephone service with extended hours to help farmers who have any queries on their payment status,” he said.

Brian Rushe said it was important that any pre-payment queries could be addressed, as many issues can be resolved over the phone. IFA is asking farmers who have a query from the Department to respond immediately. Otherwise, their payment will be held up.

IFA Rural Development Chairman Michael Biggins welcomed the commitment by the Department to being ANC payments on September 16th, which is in line with previous years. 85% payment will be issued to all farmers whose land area has been cleared and who have met the minimum stocking. The remaining 15% payment will be issued in early December. Up to 100,000 will qualify for ANC payments in 2020 worth up to €250m.