The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has paid £1.67 billion of Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) money to more than 95 per cent of farmers in the first day of the payment window.
It is an improvement on 2019, which saw £1.192bn released on the first day.
£60 million of Environmental Stewardship (ES) and £40m of Countryside Stewardship payments were also issued, compared to no payments released last year.
RPA chief executive, Paul Caldwell, said: “We are committed to ensuring timely payments to farmers and land managers, so that rural businesses can plan for the year ahead.
“2020 has been a challenging year for many and I have been really pleased at the progress we have made which has resulted in this level of performance despite the difficulties presented by coronavirus.
“This is testament to the hard work of people within the agency and the measures we have taken to further simplify CS.”
The agency has also warned farmers and land managers to remain vigilant against fraud.
RPA advice for stopping fraudulent activity