Payments totalling more than £6 million have issued to Northern Irish farmers participating in the Environmental Farming Scheme (EFS).
The scheme supports farmers to carry out environmentally beneficial farming practices, such as hedge planting to reducing grazing pressure on blanket bog habitat.
The Department of Agriculture (DAERA) said that 92% of all EFS Wider and Higher 2021 claims have now been processed.
The remaining claims will be processed and payments issued as soon as possible following appropriate checks and validations, it added.
Since the scheme started, around £50 million has been paid to participating farming businesses, which is over 5,500 EFS agreements.
Agriculture minister Edwin Poots said: "I am delighted to confirm that we have processed 92% of all EFS Wider and Higher 2021 claims
“The EFS is a key part of my department’s efforts to support the environmental stewardship carried out by farmers, improving and protecting the environment for us all."
Payment claims for the 2022 scheme year can be made from 6 April via the Single Application and Maps Service, available on DAERA's website.
The department has confirmed that applications for tranche 6 of EFS Higher will open on 27 April and close on 13 May.
Applications for tranche 6 EFS Wider will open later this year, it added.