Farm Ireland
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Wednesday 7 December 2016

Farmers split on SFP Calculation

Strong support for both flat-rate and historical approach, says Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

Published 28/09/2010 | 05:00

Farmers are evenly split regarding the method to be used to
calculate the SFP post-2013, with 45pc opting for a historical period, while 42pc want a flat-rate system
Farmers are evenly split regarding the method to be used to calculate the SFP post-2013, with 45pc opting for a historical period, while 42pc want a flat-rate system

Farmers are split on the preferred method for calculating the single farm payment (SFP) post-2013 CAP reforms. A Farming Independent survey carried out at the National Ploughing Championships in Athy last week found almost equally strong support for payments based on an historical reference period and the flat-rate mechanism.

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Forty-five percent of the 1,008 farmers questioned favoured the use of an historical reference to calculate the SFP. However, 42pc supported a move to a flat-rate system, while 13pc said they were undecided.

Use of an historical reference period would mean payments to farmers would be based on production over a set timeframe. The flat-rate system would deliver a standard per-hectare payment to farmers.

While the historical option is the one preferred by the Irish Government and the IFA, the Commission has stated that it wants to move to a flat-rate payment.

The survey found that large-farm owners were the staunchest backers of the historical reference period approach. Fifty-three per cent of those farming more than 200ac wanted the historical approach to continue, while just 33pc opted for the flat rate -- 14pc were undecided.

The flat-rate system was backed by 40pc of farmers with between 100 and 200ac. While 13pc in this category were undecided, 47pc favoured the historical approach.

Thirty-nine per cent of farmers with less than 100ac wanted the historical reference period approach continued; 47pc supported a move to a flat rate, while some 14pc were undecided.

Dairy farmers were also strong supporters of the historical approach, with 50pc backing this method.

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Thirty-nine per cent of milk suppliers backed the flat rate system, while some 11pc were undecided.

Forty-three per cent of drystock farmers wanted the historical reference period used, 44pc favoured the flat rate, while 13pc were undecided.

Tillage farmers were fairly evenly split: 46pc backed the flat rate; 45pc the historical reference period; with 9pc undecided.

Eighteen per cent of those working mixed drystock and tillage units were undecided. However, 43pc opted for the historical method, while 39pc said payments should be calculated on a flat-rate basis.

Irish Independent