£292.7m issued in Direct Payments

Date published: 17 December 2020

More than 99% of farmers in Northern Ireland have received their full Direct Payment for 2020, Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots MLA has announced.


The total amount of Direct Payments issued by DAERA for the 2020 scheme year is £292.7m.

Commending the Department’s performance, Minister Poots said: “I am pleased to announce that full Direct Payments have now issued to over 99% of our farmers, totalling £292.7m in support. This includes those selected for an inspection.

“For the past number of years Northern Ireland has led the way in payment performance within the United Kingdom. This year my Department made further progress by being the only region to issue full payments from October, a remarkable achievement given the ongoing pandemic. Even under these challenging times they have been able to complete all inspections before the end of December. 

“These vital payments will greatly assist farmers, many of whom are experiencing acute financial difficulties during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Payment letters have issued to every farm business by post but can also be viewed online at DAERA Online Services.

Farmers can check the status of their Single Application through a newly developed online claim tracker which can also be accessed via DAERA Online Services.

    Notes to editors: 

    1. Direct Payments comprise Basic Payment Scheme payments, Greening payments and Young Farmers’ payments.
    2. Financial Reduction Reimbursement payments totalling £3.6million were issued to NI farm businesses on 1 December 2020.
    3. The main reasons for the small number of claims outstanding are awaiting probate and bank details not provided by farmer.
    4. From 2020 Direct Payments in the UK are paid in sterling.
    5. The exchange rate for 2020 is €1 = £0.89092.This is the same as in 2019.
    6. The Greening percentage for the 2020 Scheme year is 43.647186%.
    7. The 2020 Young Farmers’ Payment will be paid at the rate of £77.04 per hectare. This is an increase from 2019 rate of £44.68.Young Farmers’ Payment is made on a per hectare basis up to a limit to 90 hectares.
    8. Payments include the linear increase of 4.3% applied to all Basic Payment Scheme entitlements in 2020 scheme year. This increase is worth approximately £8 million in total or £330 on average per farm business.
    9. Follow DAERA on Twitter and Facebook
    10. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office 
    11. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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