46,000 farmers in ACRES have been dealt a pre-Christmas blow to their scheme payments. PaymentysThat’s according to today’s Irish Farmers Journal.

It follows confirmation that over €100m in payments to 18,600 farmers in the Agri-Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES) cooperation scheme will be delayed until 2024.

Senior Department of Agriculture officials have blamed the payment problems on the complexity of ACRES. It is understood that the Department’s computer systems are struggling to process the commonage scorecards.

Payments to ACRES co-operation farmers, worth an average €5,500 per farmer, will now start in February of next year, the Department said.

Payments to the 28,000 farmers in ACRES general are due to start on 18 December. However, it is unclear how many farmers will be paid before Christmas. Letters outlining the new payment schedule will issue this week.

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