National sheep and goat census announced
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has announced that over 45,000 registered sheep and goat keepers will receive their Annual Sheep and/or Goat Census 2018 forms shortly.
The return of census details is a legal requirement and the census date is Monday, December 31 and the closing date for receipt of completed 2018 census forms returned by post in the pre addressed envelope provided is Thursday, January 31, 2019.
The census returns may also be submitted online via www.agfood.ie in which case the closing date is extended to Thursday ,February 14, 2019.
The online system provides confirmation when a census submission has been completed successfully. Farmers not already registered for online services can do so by logging on to www.agfood.ie and clicking the option to register. As log in details are issued by post, farmers should allows sufficient time in advance of the closing date to receive their log on details.
Online completion of the 2018 census will remain an option after the extended closing date for online returns (14 February 2019). However, it should be stressed that late submission of 2018 details may have implications for eligibility to certain DAFM schemes.
Submission of a completed census is central in declaring that required stocking rates are being maintained and facilitates the drawing down of payments under schemes such as the Sheep Welfare Scheme, Basic Payment Scheme, Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme, AEOS, GLAS etc.
Failure to return the census on time may impact payments under these schemes and also other future related payments from this Department.
An information leaflet on the new rules relating to the National Sheep Identification System (NSIS), announced by the Minister in May this year, will be included in the envelope with the Annual Sheep Census 2018 forms.