Greening plans have momentum: Coveney
The greening elements in the Commission's CAP reform proposals have gained political impetus, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney admitted at a series of farmer meetings last week.
The minister expressed mixed feelings on the greening measures put forward by Commissioner Dacian Ciolos but said farmers would probably have to work with them.
He said that he was pushing for a "green by definition" classification for farms participating in environmental programmes such as AEOS and farms with 75pc permanent pasture.
Mr Coveney said such farms should automatically qualify for greening payments.
He added it was likely that the target to ring-fence 30pc of the Single Farm Payment for greening would be reduced to somewhere between 20-25pc.
However, he admitted that greening would probably increase the inspection load on farms.
"We're obliged to inspect approximately 4pc of all farms covered by schemes at the moment, so I would expect the same to apply to this.
"Reports have shown that these latest reforms could increase the cost for member states to administer these schemes by 15pc," Mr Coveney told farmers last Thursday at a special information meeting in Mallow.