Farm Ireland

Sunday 21 January 2018

Coveney warned latest CAP plans for tillage could 'cripple' the sector

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

A delegation of cereal farmers met Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney yesterday for crisis talks over the latest CAP proposals for the tillage sector.

Stringent new rules on crop rotation, minimum crop areas and limits on ploughing of grassland would be devastating for the tillage sector in Ireland and must be changed, they urged the Minister.

IFA tillage chairman Noel Delany said if the proposed measures were implemented, they would effectively close the door on cereal growing in Ireland.

"The rules would have a farmer with only 100ac growing, at most, 70ac of one crop, at least 7.5ac of another crop and the remainder in a third crop," he said. "That might be workable in Britain, France or the eastern European countries where farms are huge but it would cripple us."

"We could be forced to produce a crop for which there is no market," he added. "It's just crazy."

Concern is also growing that if the European Commission classified barley, wheat and oats as one crop under the rules on continuous cereals, Irish farmers would be left with "no hope at all", according to Mr Delany. "We just don't have the same options for break crops that other European crops have."

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