Belfast Telegraph

Farmers to share £180m subsidy before Christmas

By Amanda Poole

Around 80% of the 2012 Single Farm Payments will be credited to farmers' bank accounts before Christmas, the agriculture minister has said.

Michelle O'Neill explained £180m of the £245m overall total will reach farmers before the end of the year, with the first payments expected around December 7.

A total of 37,600 claims have been submitted to the subsidy scheme and payments will be made using the exchange rate of €1= £0.79805.

Farmers will receive a payment advice note detailing how their payment has been calculated.

Minister O'Neill said: "This year's Single Farm Payment will be worth around £245m to local farmers when all payments are completed. Although this is less than last year because of the less favourable exchange rate, the Single Farm Payment continues to make a significant contribution to farm incomes."