Farmers divided over best SFP mechanism
45pc in favour of keeping payment system but 43pc want change
Farmers are evenly split on the preferred mechanism for calculating the single farm payment (SFP) beyond 2013.
A major survey of farmer views found that 45pc favoured the retention of the historical method of calculating the SFP but 42pc backed a flat-rate payment.
This will come as a shock to farm lobbyists and policy makers who have been pushing at the highest levels to retain the historical payment system in the up-coming CAP reform.
In other stand-out facts from the survey, 48pc of drystock farmers indicated that they were unhappy with the quality payment system (QPS) for cattle, while 60pc of dairymen said they intended to expand milk production next year.
The Farming Independent questioned 1,008 farmers over the three days of the Ploughing Championships in Athy, Co Kildare.
The survey found that large farm owners and dairy farmers were the staunchest supporters of the historical reference period approach for calculating the SFP post-2013.
Fifty-three percent of those farming more than 200ac wanted the historical approach to be maintained, while just 33pc opted for the flat-rate system .The undecided camp totalled 14pc.
Just 39pc of farmers with less than 100ac wanted the historical reference period approach continued, 47pc supported a move to a flat-rate system, while some 14pc were undecided.