New herd numbers up by 3,000
Over 3,000 new entrants applied for herd numbers in the first four months of 2015 as land owners look to maximise their CAP payments in the reformed Basic Payment Scheme.
Under the new scheme, a substantial 25pc top-up will allow farmers under 40 years of age to claim up to €22,000 a year from the €25m national reserve for up to five years.
In addition, a further 3,200 herd numbers were amended, as young farmers looked to access the national reserve through their parents herd number.
However, the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, moved to allay fears that delays in processing herd numbers would exclude anyone from accessing increased payments.
"My Department has made special arrangements to ensure that the non-issue of a herd number by the relevant scheme closing date will not impact negatively on applicants under the Basic Payments Scheme…once they had applied for a herd number or to be added to a herd number prior to March 31," he said in answer to a parliamentary question by Fianna Fail's Éamon Ó Cuív.