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Creed Welcomes Approval for Advance Payments and Certain Flexibilities in GLAS Scheme

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D, today welcomed official confirmation by the Commissioner on higher advance payments under BPS and GLAS and the availability of certain flexibilities in GLAS.

At a meeting last week between Minister Creed and Commissioner Hogan, and subsequent formal request to Commission, opportunities to assist farmers to tackle the consequences of the drought on Irish farmers were proposed.

The Minister said “I am delighted to be able to announce these measures to assist farmers who have encountered difficulties as a result of the weather conditions. I welcome Commissioner Hogan’s flexibility and the potential benefits under the measures with regards to increasing fodder supplies and in supporting the welfare of livestock.”

In correspondence received today Commissioner Hogan has confirmed that he intends to propose to the Commission to grant a derogation to pay up to 70% of advances for direct payments and up to 85% for rural development measures including GLAS. This measure will provide assistance to Irish farmers in terms of improved cash flow to the value of €260 million.

With regards to the Minister’s proposals to reduce the shortage of fodder for the coming winter the following has been agreed in the context of GLAS participants;

  • Within the boundaries of the existing GLAS specifications, a second cut for either hay or silage is possible on parcels covered by the GLAS Traditional Hay Measure action;
  • The Minister has raised the option of granting derogation for farmers with the Low Input Permanent Pasture (LIPP) GLAS measure.  Consultation is ongoing with the Commission with regards to what flexibility can be allowed to conserve the crops for hay or silage, whilst allowing farmers to retain payment.  

Further to the above for those farmers growing catch crops to fulfil obligations under the Ecological Focus Area (EFA) element of the Greening Scheme;

  • The Commission has indicated that flexibility can be shown with regard to the species sown and the time period for which the crop must remain in the ground.  Consultation is ongoing with the Commission on the details of such changes.

Note for editors

  • Catch crops must remain planted for a minimum of 8 weeks prior to mowing or grazing;
  • 2017 balance payments commenced on schedule in May 2018 and continue to be made on an ongoing basis as tranches of cases are cleared. There are currently approximately 49,250 active participants in the GLAS scheme and over 99% of farmers eligible for payment have received their 2017 balance payment;
  • DAFM runs a dedicated GLAS helpline which can be contacted at on Tel: 0761 064451.

ENDS

 

Date Released: 02 August 2018