Minister refuses one week exemption for the early cutting of GLAS meadows

A CALL by Fianna Fáil to allow GLAS farmers ‘to make hay while the sun shines’ has been rejected by Agriculture Minister, Michael Creed, who has ruled out any bringing forward of the dates in relation to meadow cutting restrictions.

Farmers with lands in the traditional hay meadows category of the GLAS scheme are not allowed to their grass until July 1 – next Sunday – but last week, Fianna Fáil’s Agricultural Spokesman, Charlie McConalogue, called on the Dept. of Agriculture to introduce a once-off exemption this year.

“Last week, I contacted Minister Creed requesting a once-off exemption to allow for earlier cutting and saving of hay and haylage as under the current regulations governing the GLAS Scheme, cutting is not permitted until after July 1.

“However, in light of the expected spell of warm, sunny weather, many farmers are seeking a relaxation of the rules by the Minister to allow them make use of the current good weather and get as much cut as possible,” said Deputy McConalogue.

He said that the refusal by the Minister to show a measure of flexibility as regards the cutting of the traditional hay meadows indicated a total lack of consideration for farmers who needed to make full use of the current spell of fine weather.

According to Deputy McConalogue, Minister Creed last week to his request, indicating that he did not intend to bring forward the cutting date and that he would sticking to the current regulations.

“Given the importance of and necessity for good weather to save fodder crops, and the unpredictability of weather in general in this country, the request is firmly rooted in common sense.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.