The Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has announced the commencement of advance BPS payments worth €747m to 114,500 farmers.
EU legislation states that farmers should receive a 50% advance payment, but, in keeping with previous years, Minister Creed secured a higher advance payment of 70% for 2019 for Irish farmers.
“An additional 1,500 farmers have received an advance payment in the first run of payments this year,” Creed said.
“This represents an additional €15m. In all, some 94% of eligible applicants for the 2019 BPS are receiving their advance payment at the earliest date possible.
“My Department continues to work to maximise the efficiency with which these payments are made to farmers, and I am very conscious of the importance that such payments have for farmers.”
The Minister also added that extended opening hours for the Department helpline were available if farmers needed support with their payments.
"Extended hours are now in place for the direct payments helpline," he said.
"On Saturday 19 October, farmers can ring the Department at 076-106 4420 between 9am and 1pm, while extended hours up to 8.30pm are also in place from Monday 21 to Wednesday 24 October."