Farmers split on SFP Calculation
Strong support for both flat-rate and historical approach, says Declan O'Brien
Farmers are split on the preferred method for calculating the single farm payment (SFP) post-2013 CAP reforms. A Farming Independent survey carried out at the National Ploughing Championships in Athy last week found almost equally strong support for payments based on an historical reference period and the flat-rate mechanism.
Forty-five percent of the 1,008 farmers questioned favoured the use of an historical reference to calculate the SFP. However, 42pc supported a move to a flat-rate system, while 13pc said they were undecided.
Use of an historical reference period would mean payments to farmers would be based on production over a set timeframe. The flat-rate system would deliver a standard per-hectare payment to farmers.
While the historical option is the one preferred by the Irish Government and the IFA, the Commission has stated that it wants to move to a flat-rate payment.
The survey found that large-farm owners were the staunchest backers of the historical reference period approach. Fifty-three per cent of those farming more than 200ac wanted the historical approach to continue, while just 33pc opted for the flat rate -- 14pc were undecided.
The flat-rate system was backed by 40pc of farmers with between 100 and 200ac. While 13pc in this category were undecided, 47pc favoured the historical approach.
Thirty-nine per cent of farmers with less than 100ac wanted the historical reference period approach continued; 47pc supported a move to a flat rate, while some 14pc were undecided.
Dairy farmers were also strong supporters of the historical approach, with 50pc backing this method.