Limited coupled funds on cards amid changes
Reform proposals have reopened the door for limited coupled payments, while also allowing national top-ups for selected areas.
The voluntary coupled supports will be allowed in certain regions where particular types of farming are considered important for economic or social reasons.
Support will have clearly defined limits, with payments based on fixed areas, yields or livestock numbers.
If the proposals are given the green light, both Ireland's suckler farmers and sheep breeders are the most likely recipients of such funds.
Controversially for Ireland, the paper also proposes moving the Disadvantaged Area payment from Pillar II to Pillar I. Payments would be area-based, with the option of national top-ups available.
The paper also points out that the long-term prospects for agriculture will not improve if farmers cannot secure better returns.