Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Wednesday 7 December 2016

See what farmers need to do to get €10/ewe in the new sheep scheme

Published 21/10/2016 | 16:42

The scheme will be based on the animal welfare measure in the Rural Development Programme, which allows for a payment per head.
The scheme will be based on the animal welfare measure in the Rural Development Programme, which allows for a payment per head.

Key details of the Department of Agriculture's €10/ewe Sheep Welfare Scheme have emerged following a meeting between the IFA and Department officials this week.

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IFA National Sheep Committee delegation, led by Chairman John Lynskey described the new scheme as a very positive development for the sheep sector and he welcomed the recent announcement in the Budget by Agriculture Minister Creed providing €25m funding for the scheme.

He said the next step is to finalise the arrangements on the scheme with the EU Commission in Brussels.

The IFA sheep farmer leader said he expects the scheme will be finalised before year-end, clearing the way for an early application.

He said it is very important that the maximum number of sheep farmers apply for the scheme and all of the €25m funding is drawn down and paid out to sheep farmers. €25m provides funding for up to 2.5m ewes.

Details of the options outlined by the Department of Agriculture

The scheme will be based on the animal welfare measure in the Rural Development Programme, which allows for a payment per head.

Sheep farmers will have nine different options in total and it is proposed they will be divided into two categories, with farmers required to choose an option from each category.

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Lowland Flock

Category A

Lameness - Farmer required to carry out five lameness examinations per year at prescribed times, recording incidence and scoring.

Mineral supplementation of ewes - Supplement minerals to ewes post-mating to help combat deficiencies, reducing still births and mortality.

Category B

Parasite control - Undertake two faecal egg counts per annum to establish worm burden.

Scanning - Scan ewes 80 days after ram turnout. Mark, divide and feed according to litter size.

Flystrike - Introduce a flystrike programme during high risk months through chemical control and dagging.

Breeding - Purchase of 3-4 or 5 star rated ram per 40 ewes on terminal or replacement index before the end of year three of the scheme.

Hill Flock

Category A

Mineral supplementation of ewes - Supplement minerals to ewes post-mating to help combat deficiencies, reducing still births and mortality.

Meal feeding post weaning - Feeding a suitable lamb ration containing minerals for four weeks post weaning.

Category B

Parasite control - Undertake one faecal egg count on lambs for worms or one on ewes for liver fluke.

Scanning - Scan ewes 80 days after ram turnout. Mark, divide and feed according to litter size.

Mineral supplementation of Lambs - Supplement lambs with minerals pre-weaning in hill flocks

Breeding - Purchase of 3-4 or 5 star rated ram per 40 ewes on terminal or replacement index before the end of year three of the scheme,

or

Parentage recorded ram - Purchase parentage recorded ram per 40 ewes for one breeding season before end of year three.

The reference period for the maximum number of ewes eligible for payment will be based on the average of 2014 and 2015 ewes in the sheep census, with farmers paid on the actual numbers the apply on in 2016 or future years.

Farmers participating in GLAS and as part of their Commonage Management Plan or Farm Plan are required to increase numbers above these levels will be paid on the higher numbers.

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