Cloud cover won't hinder farming's 'eye-in-the-sky'

ICMSA deputy president Lorcan McCabe
ICMSA deputy president Lorcan McCabe
Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

Cloud cover will not offer respite from new eye-in-the-sky satellite cameras which will monitor activity on Irish farms from this year onwards.

At a meeting with ICMSA last week, Department of Agriculture officials "assured" farmer representatives that the new technology would be capable of operating in cloudy conditions.

It is anticipated that monitoring by cameras will ultimately reduce the number of on-farm physical inspections by Department staff and other bodies. The satellites will enable Department staff to view the activities on every Irish holding at least twice a week.

Meanwhile, the Department has agreed to review its decision to move the ANC payment date from September to October.

The ICMSA raised concerns that many farms had factored in the Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) payment, formerly known as the disadvantaged areas payment, into their September cashflow. Last year around €219.27m was issued under the ANC and Areas of Specific Constraint to farmers.

"[It] is a critical component of farm cash-flow at that time of year," said ICMSA deputy president Lorcan McCabe. He also urged farmers to ensure that they tick all the required boxes in their online application form.

Cloud cover won't hinder farming's 'eye-in-the-sky'

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