CAP reaction positive but devil in details
It's been a week now since the CAP Pillar II package was announced and there has been some time to absorb the detail of the proposals and to critically assess their possible impact.
The general reaction to the proposals has been positive, with farmers and the farm organisations broadly welcoming the thrust of the reforms.
But, as always, the devil will be in the detail and the true reaction to the CAP changes will be delivered when Minister Simon Coveney moves from the draft consultation paper on the new regime to the agreed regulations.
Concerns have already been expressed by the sheep lobby over the failure of the reforms to include a dedicated sheep headage payment.
However, the minister has been consistent on this issue and has stated from early on in the discussion process that he did not want to see reforms that returned the Department of Agriculture to an exercise in counting heads.
This will be of little consolation to sheep farmers, although they will benefit from the guarantee to maintain payments under the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme.
Hill sheep farmers will also gain from the changes to payments under Pillar I, although these will only build as the decade progresses.
The headline change announced in the Pillar II proposals is the GLAS scheme, which will replace AEOS and REPS.