Eye in the sky technology set to replace farm inspections
Satellite surveillance will take over from physical inspections within two years, says Hogan
Eye in the sky satellite surveillance with the precision to read livestock tag numbers is set to replace the physical inspection of farms for EU compliance.
"We are going to abolish the need for farm inspections," EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan told farmers at the ICMSA annual general meeting at Limerick on Friday.
Within two years, compliance will be monitored by satellites passing over the farm three times each week. Farmers "won't have to worry any longer about the car-load of inspectors arriving," said Commissioner Hogan.
CAP 2020 negotiations will not be concluded before Commissioner Hogan is due to leave office in May 2019, but he told the meeting that "the environment issue is going to become the new quota".
Bringing down emission levels from agriculture will inevitably effect production, he said, but the situation is becoming so serious that there will be no alternative.
Agriculture Minister Michael Creed said that convergence of the single farm payment will be continued in the next round because "our payment per capita needs to get closer to the overall average".
He told the ICMSA meeting that he was committed to the live export trade, which increased by 30pc in 2018 following a similar increase in 2017, and he has sat down with the exporters to discuss continued growth.
On beef prices, Minister Creed said it is not within his remit to dictate to the processors how much they pay farmers, but stated that he will "facilitate a review of the grid (grading) if that is what is wanted".