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Coveney Announces Second Tranche for GLAS this Year

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, announced today that he intends to open a second tranche of applications for GLAS this year.   While the precise date has not been fixed as yet, the second tranche is likely to open in the early Autumn, following the processing of applications under the first tranche.  The second tranche will close before the end of the year, with the objective of starting  farmers in their new GLAS contracts from 1 January 2016.  These contracts will run for 5 calendar years.

Minister Coveney said “I have been monitoring the uptake under the first tranche very closely and with over 21,000 applications already registered and increasing daily, I believe the Department is well on the way to achieving its targets for 2015 as a whole.  With more certainty as to the overall uptake, I believe the time is right to announce a second tranche for the autumn.”

I anticipate that we will  approve some 25,000 applications from Tranche 1”, the Minister said.  ‘With that in mind, I am looking at opening a second tranche for an additional 10,000 farmers in the early Autumn.’

The confirmation of a second tranche will be welcomed by many farmers, particularly new entrants into farming in 2015 who were unable to apply under the first tranche.  It will also be welcomed by those farmers who have opted to defer their applications in order to adjust or split parcels on their holding under their  2015 BPS applications, to optimise the environmental dividend they can offer under GLAS as well as the annual payment that can be drawn.

The Minister said he was delighted with the interest being shown in the scheme by all farmers, including those with the “priority environmental assets (PEAs)” identified by his Department. GLAS is structured along three distinct tiers, with priority entry to farmers in Tier 1 (that is those with PEAs such as farmland bird habitats, commonages and high status water areas), followed by Tier 2, with Tier 3 farmers being allocated places last.  Minister Coveney took the opportunity to remind farmers in Tier 3 that they can significantly increase their chance of approval by selecting one of the four key Tier 2 environmental actions identified by his Department. These are using minimum tillage, growing catch crops, adopting low-emission slurry-spreading technology, or planting wild bird cover. Each of these actions will promote their  GLAS applications into Tier 2, with a very high expectation of approval. The Minister also welcomed the significant rate of applications from Tier 1 farmers and urged those who have not yet done so to apply to the scheme as soon as possible.

The Minister said he would be authorising the formal submission of applications very shortly. He advised farmers to make sure that they are happy with all aspects of their applications, including selection of key environmental actions, before telling their advisors to submit their application.

‘Once the application is submitted, it cannot be amended,’ the Minster said. ‘That’s why we have provided such a long lead-period for the preparation of applications on-line. GLAS is new scheme and quite different to its predecessors in many ways and I am quite frankly delighted with the response to date.  We are now moving to the stage of submitting the applications that have been prepared, and everybody needs to be happy with what they have selected.’

The Minister also announced that he is giving additional time to Commonage GLAS planners to get their commonage plans completed and submitted.   The new extended date for the completion of the commonage plans will be 31st August.   Farmers with commonage will still have to make sure they lodge their individual GLAS applications by the 22nd May.

View Press Release as a PDF:  DAFMPR 76/2015 (pdf 545Kb) 

Date Released: 30 April 2015