Balancing payments worth €650,000 for farmers in GLAS+ have commenced issuing, the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue announced on Thursday.
Over 3,000 farmers who are in receipt of the GLAS+ payments will now receive the balancing amount, which represents the final 15% of the 2021 GLAS+ payment.
This, the Department said, completes the total payment for GLAS actions undertaken in 2021, which came to a total of over €1.8bn.
These payments are to the GLAS farmers who undertook exceptional environmental commitments and are rewarded with an additional annual payment of up to €2,000 with this element of the GLAS scheme known as ‘GLAS+’.
Minister Mconalogue said: "I am very pleased to be announcing the commencing of these GLAS+ balancing payments, as it means that almost €650,000 will be made to over 3,100 GLAS participants.
"This payment of €650,000 will also bring the total payments made to-date in respect of GLAS to over €1.18bn. I am also pleased to note that over 95% of GLAS participants have now been paid in full in respect of their 2021 GLAS commitments."
Given the number of challenges of climate change, loss of biodiversity and water quality, the minister said that the delivery of environmental benefits continues to be a key objective.
"Earlier this week, I launched a new agri-environmental climate measure to succeed GLAS called ACRES, which is currently with the EU Commission for approval.
"Our intention is that this will commence on 1 January 2023. The commitment of €1.5bn to ACRES over the lifetime of the new CAP demonstrates the commitment of the Government to facilitate the delivery of climate, environmental and biodiversity benefits while supporting farm incomes," he said.