Farm Ireland

Friday 24 November 2017

More protests over powerlines

Online requests dominate SFP Agri student numbers rise

Angry landowners are drawing up plans to block the erection of pylons and overhead electricity powerlines extending from the Co Tyrone border across hundreds of farms in counties Monaghan, Cavan and Meath.

A series of public meetings are scheduled over the coming days to persuade EirGrid to abandon its plans for a new multi-million euro North-South 400kv Interconnector.

Last week, Meath-based Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Food and Marine, Shane McEntee, called on Minister for Communications Pat Rabbite to seek a deferral of the application. Minister McEntee is supporting demands from community groups to have the cables placed underground.

The first application by EirGrid was withdrawn after discrepancies over the height of the proposed pylons were highlighted at a public hearing by An Bord Pleanala at Carrickmacross.

Online requests dominate SFP

Farmers are choosing the internet as their preferred method for Single Farm Payment applications. The latest figures from Teagasc show that almost 80pc of all applications handled by the advisory body this year were submitted online.

This accounted for more than three quarters of all the online applications received by the Department of Agriculture this year. It represents a 30pc jump on last year's figures, and follows calls from the Minister for Agriculture to farmers to switch to online applications in order to reduce mistakes and administrative costs.

Waterford tops the league for the highest percentage of online applications, with 69pc of all applications made using the new system. Clare and Galway are the lowest with less than 27pc of their farmers choosing the internet option for their SFP applications.

Also Read

Agri student numbers rise

The numbers of students studying agricultural science for the Leaving Cert continues to increase, according to the latest report from the State Examinations Commission.

Since 2006, the numbers have increased by 48pc, with nearly 6,000 agricultural science students sitting the State exams last year.

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