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Sunday 23 September 2018

Calls for changes to rules to let farmers make hay while the sun shines

Stock Picture. Copyright Roger Jones
Stock Picture. Copyright Roger Jones
FarmIreland Team

FarmIreland Team

Farming organisations are calling for changes to be made to GLAS rules to allow traditional hay meadows be mowed over the coming days.

ICSA rural development chair Seamus Sherlock has called for a derogation to allow GLAS farmers with traditional hay meadow to mow hay over the coming days.  

“While the traditional hay meadow is well meaning, it is unconscionable that for the sake of a few days, we would prevent farmers from making hay while the sun shines.” 

The GLAS rule bans hay cutting until July 1 but the weather forecast for the rest of June is for brilliant sunshine.

“It is unacceptable that a once in ten year’s opportunity to make real quality hay would be missed only a few months after we imported hay due to the catastrophic fodder crisis. 

"We do not want farmers to risk losing GLAS money for a breach of regulation but we have to have some common sense applied.”

IFA Rural Development Chairman Joe Brady said the excellent weather and ground conditions at the moment are ideal for cutting to take place now.

"This will ensure farmers can maximise fodder conservation, which is critical following the significant depletion of fodder stocks last winter and spring”.

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Joe Brady said the land is now in good condition to conserve fodder. but this could change quickly, particularly on heavy soils.

He said the Minister must allow as much flexibility in GLAS as possible so that farmers are in a strong position with fodder for next winter.

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