More than 6,200 farmers will share a support fund of more than €32 million following a vote by members of Glanbia Co-op.
Most of the fund will go to the co-op’s dairy farmer members who are bracing themselves for a big drop in income this year because of falling milk prices.
A payment of €11.4 million, based on last year’s milk and grain supplies and farmers’ feed and fertiliser sales, will be paid first while tillage farmers will receive €800,000 after this year’s harvest.
The timing of the payment to dairy farmers of the biggest sum, €20million, will be decided by the board of the co-op but will be paid in 2015.
Glanbia Co-op chairman Liam Herlihy said the co-op had assets of €1.7 billion so it was happy to support farmer members at a time when market conditions were expected to be challenging.