Farm Ireland

Wednesday 25 April 2018

GLAS choices are attractive

All tillage farmers should consider GLAS. Farmers with over 30ha of tillage will be in tier 1, which will basically ensure priority access to GLAS.

Up to €5,000 per year for five years is available. Various options can be chosen. Full details can be found on the Department website.

It is worth noting that some options can deliver significant returns in easily managed situations and in land areas that struggle to give any financial return. Arable grass margins of 6m widths can yield the equivalent of €472/ac.

This is significantly better than most projected cereal margins next autumn. There are also ideal options for green cover and cover crops that can yield up to €155/ha up to a maximum of 30ha, or €4,650. Additional options are also available such as min till (up to €1,200), planting and laying of hedgerows and bird boxes.

Farmers considering GLAS should get relevant advice from qualified and experienced advisors.

It is difficult to beat experience when deciding on a future programme. Be sure of your obligations as you will have to live with them for five years.

Pollination and wild flowers

Pollinating insects are essential for crop production. Numbers of pollinating insects have been reducing over the last number of years.

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Part of the reason is due to changing agricultural practices such as fewer traditional hay meadows. Poorer summer weather and other habitat-loss are also leading to pressure on populations of vital insects such as bees.

The new GLAS scheme will provide financial incentives to develop habitats without affecting crop production.

In fact, increasing populations of pollinating insects has been shown to have a beneficial impact on yields and crop quality.

Wild flowers can be established in the spring or autumn and places that farmers find ideal for it tend to be field corners, awkward areas or areas of low fertility. A south-facing area with a good hedge and a grass margin is ideal.

One hectare can have a positive effect on 1,000ha of landscape. Ideally strips should be 2-8m wide and at least 100m in length, or a minimum of 0.25ha.

Indo Farming

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