NI Farmers Receive Farm Payment Advance

More than 19,000 farm businesses right across Northern Ireland were scheduled to receive a 70% advance of their CAP payments this week.

As The Scottish Farmer went to press, officials in the province were working towards agriculture minister Michelle McIlveen’s pledge to have all the payments in farmers’ bank accounts by Thursday October 20.

“This is very good news for our farmers,” said Miss McIlveen. “Northern Ireland is the first part of the United Kingdom to introduce advance payments and we have done so because we understand their value to our farming community. I have long been aware that many farmers are facing significant challenges and, from the moment I was appointed, I was determined to introduce advance payments to help.

“I am therefore pleased to announce that more than 19,000 farm businesses in all parts of Northern Ireland will receive 70% of their 2016 Basic Payment allocation. Funds will arrive in bank accounts by Thursday October 20. These advance payments should help ease some of the immediate pressures on farmers.”

The minister said that her department will aim to issue advance payments to 80% of eligible farm business with full payments being made to 95% of farmers by end of December 2016.

“Farmers who receive 70% of their Basic Payment this month will receive the remainder of their allocation in December 2016. My department is committed to making 95% complete payments by the end of December 2016.”

Miss McIlveen said the increase in the number of farmers who submitted their Single Application online in 2016 had helped make advance payments possible: “It is clear for all to see the advantages of submitting Single Applications online, with my decision to introduce advance payments. This year 62% of farm businesses submitted their Single Application via the online system, an increase of 16% on 2015. Submitting applications online allows my officials to spend less time checking and devote more resources into ensuring that more farmers receive full payment earlier.”