The Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, TD, announced today that the 2017 advance payments for the two main agri-environment schemes are commencing this week.
The two schemes are the Green, Low-Carbon, Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS) and the Agri-Environment Options Scheme (AEOS) and both are co-funded by the European Union under Ireland’s Rural Development Programme.
Minister Creed said “I am pleased that we are meeting our commitment to commence advance payments for these schemes.
Payments worth close to €100 million will be landing in farmers’ bank accounts this week.
These payments come on top of an excellent few weeks for payments including allocations under the Basic Payment Scheme, Areas of Natural Constraint and Sheep Welfare schemes. At this stage over €1 billion has issued to Irish farmers in recent weeks.”
Advance payments represent 85% of the full year payment for 2017 after the Minister secured permission from the European Commission for a higher advance payment rate for farmers this year. 2017 AEOS payments will also commence to the 2,200 participants who are still in that scheme. GLAS payments are issuing this year on a structured rolling basis with payments to continue to issue on an on-going manner with a number of further payruns expected before the end of the year.
The Minister concluded “We will be continuing to make GLAS advance payments in the coming weeks.
Unfortunately there are still a significant number of participants whose applications are incomplete at this point because they have yet to return outstanding documentation.
This includes including the significant numbers of outstanding Nutrient Management Plans, Commonage Management Plans, annual Low Emission Slurry Spreading Declaration Forms and Rare Breed Declaration Forms and farmers should speak to their advisors as soon as possible if they want to receive this payment.
We will continue to make further GLAS payments over the next few weeks subject to the eligibility of the participants being resolved”
DAFM has a dedicated helpline for GLAS participants and farmers with queries can contact us at 0761 064451. The contact number for AEOS is 0761 064456. GLAS Division can also be contacted by email at
Liver Fluke Forecast November 2017
Each year, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine advises farmers of the predicted risk of disease caused by liver fluke (Fasciola hepatica) infection in livestock based on advice received from the Liver Fluke Advisory Group.
The Disease Forecast
The risk of disease due to liver fluke infection this winter is high for all parts of the country. This forecast is based on meteorological data provided by Met Éireann with regard to weather conditions and rainfall during the summer and autumn of this year.
Other Information Sources
Animal Health Ireland
Further to the disease forecast, preliminary information from the Animal Health Ireland Beef HealthCheck programme indicates that nationally the frequency of fluke damaged livers in cattle at slaughter has increased slightly over the summer months and into the autumn, with live fluke detected at low but consistent levels throughout this period. The frequency of these findings is greatest in cattle going to slaughter from north western and western counties. The Beef HealthCheck programme now provides a high level of coverage of cattle nationally, and work is ongoing to analyse the information it provides.
Regional Veterinary Laboratories (RVLs) Liver Fluke Abattoir ELISA Survey
Blood samples collected by Department staff from a selection of lambs (n=4,129) entering abattoirs in September and October were tested for antibodies to liver fluke to determine their level of exposure. Preliminary data from this survey indicates greatest exposure of lambs to liver fluke from counties on the western seaboard.
In assessing the risk of liver fluke disease on any particular farm, variation between individual farms in their soil type (whether soils are heavy or free-draining) must be taken into account, in addition to weather. The intermediate host of the parasite, which is a mud snail, tends to be located in soil that is slightly acidic and muddy. Thus, areas of fields with rushes are a particularly common location for mud snails to be found.
Aside from local conditions on the farm and prior weather conditions, it is important that livestock owners also factor in prior liver fluke history on the farm. This can be an important indicator of future disease patterns.
Monitoring of Disease
Liver fluke infection tends to be chronic in cattle, resulting in ill thrift and poor performance. In sheep, similarly, chronic disease can occur. However, infection in sheep can also result in more acute clinical signs, and can cause sudden death in cases of heavy challenge.
Livestock owners should continue to be vigilant for any signs of illness or ill thrift in their stock and should consult with their veterinary practitioner for diagnosis of liver fluke infection or other potential cause(s) of these clinical signs. It is recommended that carcasses be submitted to a RVL for post mortem examination in cases where the cause of death is not obvious.
Information from abattoir examination of livers (Beef HealthCheck reports for cattle) of previously sold fattened stock is also a valuable source of information to inform livestock owners of the prevalence of liver fluke infection on their own farm or on the efficacy of their control program.