Farm Ireland

Monday 20 November 2017

Over 7,500 farmers apply to GLAS III in one week

Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and the Marine has recently announced the re-opening of the third tranche of the Green, Low-Carbon, Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS 3).

This week the Department informed IFA that 7,500 farmers have so far applied just over one week since the its website opened to applications.

The scheme closes on December 15 and according to the IFA it is vitally important that all applications are accepted to bring the total in GLAS to 50,000.

The main objective of the scheme is to encourage actions at farm level that promote biodiversity, protect water quality, and help combat climate change.

Unlike the previous REPS Scheme GLAS is not a whole farm scheme but farmers must choose options/actions as in the recent AEOS scheme.

Unlike AEOS however an applicant must utilize a planner and all applications must be made via the Department's online system and prepared by a registered GLAS advisor.

In the case of most commonage farmers they will need to partake in a third requirement - a Commonage Management Plan.

There is also a training requirement in that all applicants will have to attend a course at some point following approval. For grassland farmers there are 33 actions that may be chosen for payment but when it gets down to a farm level only a handful of these may be suitable on any farm.

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Lack of space prevents me from listing the options here - consult your adviser or the DAFM website for further information.

GLAS is structured as a 'package' depending on the options chosen and offers a maximum payment of €5,000 per applicant per full calendar year depending on the number and type of options undertaken.

In some circumstances - e.g. where an applicant has commonage and Natura land a GLAS+ top up payment of up to €2,000 per year may be available. GLAS+ will apply where the applicant will deliver a particularly high level of environmental commitment.

GLAS is structured around a hierarchy of three tiers, with Tier 1 receiving priority for acceptance into the scheme over Tier 2, and Tier 2 over Tier 3.

Which Tier an application is placed in depends on the actions selected.

This is an important point as not all applicants will be successful in their application and farmers considering entering the scheme should discuss their potential choice of actions with their adviser in order to maximise their chances to apply successfully.

The GLAS 3 scheme is to close for applications very shortly - on December 15. If you intend to apply contact Teagasc or a private consultant without delay.

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