The Government is going ahead with the deduction of hundreds of euro in farm payments from almost 5,000 land owners despite an appeal to abandon its plans by the farming organisations.

€1.4m in repayments is owed because of discrepancies in mapping systems used to calculate the grant aid over a three-year period.

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said he could not give in to demands that the money should be repaid this year because of the effect of the fodder crisis.

Mr Coveney was speaking at the launch of the 2013 Ploughing Championship which takes place over three days from 24-26 September at Ratheniska, in Co Laois at the farm of the Carter family.

Anna Marie McHugh from the National Ploughing Association said the site has been chosen with six separate entrances from major motorways and roads so as to try and avoid catastrophic traffic issues that arose in the south east last year.