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FF outline policies for a fairer Pillar 2 and CAP package

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THE time is still available to put in place a ‘far more equitable’ Common Agriultural Policy (CAP) with a 50/50 co-funding arrangement for the Pillar 2 payments, Fianna Fáil have outlined in a policy paper published over the last few days.

Fianna Fáil’s Agriculture Spokesman, Éamon Ó Cuív, said that the policy paper was aimed at protecting and developing the family farm structure of agriculture in Ireland, ‘giving a fair return to all farms irrespective of size or type of land farmed’.

Deputy Ó Cuív has proposed the transfer of €300m of Pillar 2 funds to Pillar 1 (essentially the Single Payment) to all farmers from 2015 on, meaning that there would be no reduction in funding for Pillar 1.

He has also called for the implementation of the EU agreement in relation to farmers with less than average payments – this would increase the payment to all farmers with less than the average payment at present.

“To fund this (€70m), reduce all payments from the top down rather than as proposed by taking a percentage of all farmers with over-average payments and impose in 2015, a ceiling of €150,000 on all Pillar 1 payments, payable to one farm enterprise,” Deputy Ó Cuív said.

He added that the 50/50 funding – as compared to the ‘Government’s 42% at present’ – would facilitate the transfer of €300m to Pillar 1 in 2015.

This level of funding, stated Deputy Ó Cuív, would allow a total of €234m per annum for the DAS payments, as compared to the €195m proposed, facilitating a 20% increase in payments.

Other proposed changes in the Pillar 2 scheme, as proposed in the Fianna Fail policy paper include:

• A maximum payment of €10,000 under the GLAS environmental scheme.

• No farmer in receipt of payments over €50,000 to be eligible for GLAS.

• Farm modernisation funding to be increased from €155m to €290m.

• Leader funding to be maintained at present levels with no cuts as proposed.

• A major effort to be launched to minimise red tape and compliance costs.

• A suitable range of measures to be put in place to encourage organic farming.

The policy paper also points out that the vast majority of Irish farms – 78% – are less than 50 hectares (125 acres) in sizes.

Fianna Fáil are also proposing that the greening payment should be a flat one to all farmers ‘to reflect the equal work done to fulfil the criteria’ and not as the Minister has proposed – a payment linked to grant payments of 13 years ago.  

 

Connacht Tribune

Farmers are advised to get early advice on 2023 Nitrates Derogation requirements

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Tighter limits in latest Nitrates Derogation requirements. Photo: Courtesy of Teagasc.

MORE intensively stocked farmers – the vast majority of them in the dairy sector – have been advised by the Minister for Agriculture to ‘engage as soon as possible’ with the Nitrates Derogation application process.

Charlie McConalogue also advised dairy farmers who previously did not avail of the derogation to consult with their agricultural advisors – given the new excretion rate bands applicable to dairy cows since January 1, 2023.

The Minister added that the Nitrates Derogation provided farmers with an opportunity to farm at higher stocking rates without compromising water quality.

“The Nitrates Derogation is subject to certain strict conditions designed to protect the environment and meet the requirements of the Nitrates Directive.”

“All farmers have an important role to play in protecting our environment, particularly those farming more intensively.

“It is crucial that we protect and restore our waters as soon as possible to maintain the Nitrates Derogation at current levels into the future.

“Water quality is crucial to a healthy environment and farmers are keen to drive further improvements here,” said the Minister.

The Dept. of Agriculture has outlined the three bands applicable for dairy cows: 80kg N/cow; 92 kg N/cow; and 106 kg N/cow per year.  Previously, all dairy cows were considered equal in terms of a nutrient excretion rate at 89kg N/cow per year.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway farmers to meet on crisis in sheep

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David Harney: Common sense has prevailed.
Galway IFA Sheep representative David Harney

GALWAY sheep farmers will get the chance to vent their feelings on the prices and cost crisis facing the sector at a meeting in Tuam next week.

The meeting – hosted by Galway IFA – will take place in the Ard Rí House Hotel, Tuam, on Wednesday, February 8, starting at 8pm.

It follows a national meeting of sheep farmers in Athlone last month at which the problems facing the sector in terms of declining prices, rising costs and lack of Government aid were highlighted.

According to Galway IFA Chair, Stephen Canavan, information provided at the Athlone meeting by Teagasc specialists indicated a profitability level of only €7 per ewe for sheep farmers.

“This is absolutely flabbergasting. No member of society could work 24/7 and expect such a miserly return. Government support for the sheep industry is essential now in order to preserve the sector,” said Stephen Canavan.

Galway IFA Sheep representative David Harney also stated that the recent government report into the wool industry had provided nothing to sheep farmers that would give confidence in the future.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Query over Department’s BVD Stats

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Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ALL may not be as the Dept. of Agriculture is painting it in relation to the prevalence of BVD in herds, according to a North Galway farmer who has contacted the Farming Tribune.

The farmer, from the Caltra area, who has a herd of 25 sucklers with no recent buy-ins, said that in the past year he had to have three calves put down due to BVD.

He said that while the Department of Agriculture were trying to paint a picture of BVD almost being eliminated from the national herd, this wasn’t the reality on the ground.

“This just isn’t the case on my farm – I now of other farmers who have lost animals due to BVD,” the farmer stated.

He said that he wanted to put the record straight as regards claims from Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, who had claimed that Ireland was now close to achieving ‘the goal of BVD freedom’.

BVD (Bovine Viral Diarrhoea) was first recognised as a major disease problem in Irish herds when the first year of the BVD programme started.

According to the Minister for Agriculture, the incidence of the virus in tested animals stood at 0.66% while in 2022, this had dropped to 0.03%.

Galway IFA Chair, Stephen Canavan, said that while the overall national trend in the incidence of BVD was very encouraging, there could still be pockets of the disease in herds.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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