Farmers in Northern Ireland are set to receive a 70% advance of their Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) payments to help alleviate cashflow problems caused by the flash flooding in August.
All eligible farm businesses in Northern Ireland that have fully verified claims will receive the early CAP payments from 16 October, after the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (Daera) had its application to the European Commission approved.
Balance payments, or full payments for those not eligible for advance payment, will commence on 1 December this year as usual.
Major infrastructure was destroyed, and roads and fields flooded after parts of Northern Ireland saw 63% of the average August rainfall in just nine hours on 22 August.
County Londonderry was worst affected by the rainfall, and 61mm of rain fell at Lough Fea in County Tyrone in just 24 hours.
Ulster Farmers’ Union president Barclay Bell welcomed the increase. “We pushed hard for this increase in what has been a difficult year for weather-related problems,” he said.
“The prolonged periods of heavy rain, which resulted in serious flooding in some areas, have presented a number of challenges.
“Cattle have been housed earlier than usual, silage hasn’t been cut, slurry can’t be spread and harvest has been delayed. This has put a severe cashflow strain on many farm businesses.”