Farmers in 'dark' over GLAS scheme
Published 21/10/2015 | 02:30
Farmers are still "in the dark" about their applications to the agri-environmental scheme GLAS as the second tranche opens, farm leaders have warned.
The IFA has called on Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney to row back on changes which could exclude many potential participants and result in reduced payments.
"It will be a major disappointment to farmers that some of the measures in the scheme are being watered down or excluded," said the IFA's rural development chair Flor McCarthy. "Removing the hedge planting measure is a retrograde step."
Mr Coveney yesterday confirmed the second tranche of GLAS was opening.
Almost 27,000 people applied for the first tranche earlier this year, and it is hoped that this will increase to 35,000 to 40,000.
Changes are being made to the range of measures that farmers can apply to undertake as targets for measures such as Low Input Permanent Pasture and Planting new Hedgerows had been met or exceeded.
The ICMSA said the first 27,000 remain "in the dark" over whether they have been accepted and should have been informed before the reopening.
"That's not even mentioning the commitment categorically given in the Farmers Charter to make that initial GLAS payment before the end of October," said ICMSA spokesman Pat Rohan.