Analysis by the EU Commission's DG Agri shows that the cost of complying with the new greening measures contained in Commisioner Dacian Ciolos's reforms will hit Irish farmers by an extra €22/ha.
But this average masks the fact that only a small proportion of farmers, mainly tillage operators, will shoulder the bulk of this cost, resulting in a €100/ha burden.
At this level, they are in the same league as the most intensively farmed countries, such as Holland and Belgium, where greening costs up to €160/ha. Across the whole of the EU, the Commission calculates that greening will cost on average €33/ha.
Most greening costs in the Irish context are associated with the maintenance of permanent grassland and the provision of ecological set-aside (see the graph, above).