More protests over powerlines
Online requests dominate SFP Agri student numbers rise
Angry landowners are drawing up plans to block the erection of pylons and overhead electricity powerlines extending from the Co Tyrone border across hundreds of farms in counties Monaghan, Cavan and Meath.
A series of public meetings are scheduled over the coming days to persuade EirGrid to abandon its plans for a new multi-million euro North-South 400kv Interconnector.
Last week, Meath-based Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Food and Marine, Shane McEntee, called on Minister for Communications Pat Rabbite to seek a deferral of the application. Minister McEntee is supporting demands from community groups to have the cables placed underground.
The first application by EirGrid was withdrawn after discrepancies over the height of the proposed pylons were highlighted at a public hearing by An Bord Pleanala at Carrickmacross.
Online requests dominate SFP
Farmers are choosing the internet as their preferred method for Single Farm Payment applications. The latest figures from Teagasc show that almost 80pc of all applications handled by the advisory body this year were submitted online.
This accounted for more than three quarters of all the online applications received by the Department of Agriculture this year. It represents a 30pc jump on last year's figures, and follows calls from the Minister for Agriculture to farmers to switch to online applications in order to reduce mistakes and administrative costs.
Waterford tops the league for the highest percentage of online applications, with 69pc of all applications made using the new system. Clare and Galway are the lowest with less than 27pc of their farmers choosing the internet option for their SFP applications.