Is your land eligible for BPS?
To draw down payment in respect of your BPS entitlements, you must have an eligible hectare to accompany each entitlement.
A hectare is eligible, provided an agricultural activity is carried out on it, such as growing crops, grazing animals or adhering to the requirements of a scheme (e.g. wild-bird cover in GLAS). Farmers are obliged to declare all lands on their holding, including afforested land, owned, rented-in and leased-in land.
Mountain and hill land is eligible provided it is kept in an eligible state by grazing it with adequate stock numbers. Commonage is eligible also, with the majority of commonages assigned a commonage adviser.
The commonage advisors, in most cases, have completed a Commonage Management Plan, which farmers in the GLAS Scheme have signed up to.
This management plan outlines the management practices for the commonage shareholders, such as minimum and maximum stocking rates for the commonage and each individual farmer.
Burning, overgrazing/under-grazing, soil erosion and other activities require consent. Bogland, whether used for turf production or not, is not eligible. Blanket bog that is used for agricultural purposes continues to be eligible.
Areas of agricultural land may no longer be eligible due to scrub encroachment. Appropriate deductions must be made to claimed areas where sections of a land parcel are ineligible.
The eligibility of land with rushes is a concern for farmers. Land with rushes will remain eligible for BPS once rushes are controlled by grazing animals, spot spraying, reseeding or mechanical means such as mowing or topping.