Tillage... Putting the GLAS on tillage farming
Work has been a particularly busy over the last few weeks for advisors trying to evaluate the new schemes and determine how they can be optimised to the benefit of their clients.
However, while we have received a draft GLAS specification and guidance on how young farmers and new entrants can avail of the national reserve, we are still getting clarifications.
At the recent Agricultural Consultants Association (ACA) spring meeting we were told by the Department of Agriculture that where a parent gives part of his or her own farm to a family member that the division would be deemed to be a scission - the entitlements associated with those lands would therefore have to be transferred with the land.
This was not previously flagged and there are numerous applications by young farmers for herd numbers based on part of their parents' holding.
That is a highly desirable situation given the age profile of Irish farmers, but the application for entitlements on those lands from the National Reserve appears to be in contravention of 'new rules'.
It is too close to the deadline of March 31 for young farmers and new entrants to be informed of such a requirement which appears to be contrary to advice that had been issued up to recently.
New entrants must apply for a herd/reference number before March 31 if they wish to apply to the National Reserve in 2015.
Meanwhile, GLAS is a scheme that will suit most tillage farmers with proposed payments of €1,250/ha for arable margins of 4m; €750/ha for the environmental management of fallow land; €155/ha for catch crops; €4.5/m3 (1000 gals/ac) of low emission slurry application; €40/ha for minimum tillage and €3,000/ha for a 3m riparian margin (you need 3,333m of a 3m margin of watercourse length to give a hectare, but lesser lengths can be applied for).