Three quarters of Welsh farmers will get their full single farm payments on the first day of the payment window (1 Dec).

Carwyn Jones, Welsh assembly rural affairs minister, used the Welsh Winter Fair to announce that £134m would be paid to about 12,500 claimants on 1 December, and many others would get their entitlements as soon as queries were sorted out.

“My officials are working hard to issue payments to as many of the remaining 25% of farmers as possible before Christmas,” Mr Jones said.

But he warned almost 4000 farmers who had not responded to questions about their claims that they would not get their money until applications were validated.

The 16th Royal Welsh Winter Fair attracted a record crowd of almost 27,000. This total was 2500 up on last year and beat the old record by 1329.

Torrential rain that turned car parks into quagmires forced visitors into the Builth Wells site’s many permanent buildings, where around 300 stands holders reported good business.

Hywel Lloyd, the 2006 Royal Welsh Agricultural Society president, attributed the event’s continuing success to fund raising by committees in the different Welsh county featured each year, which had allowed the society to put up some of the best exhibition halls seen at any agricultural showground.

Insiders suggested that during his year in office Montgomershire, his home county had raised over £250,000, which would help pay for a new food hall.

The David family from Somerset paid £4500 for the supreme cattle champion to sell in their chain of butchers shops, and local retailer Arwyn Morgans, the supreme sheep championship judge, forked out £1020 each for the two Beltex lambs he selected.

Single Farm Payment Scheme special report