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Thursday 16 August 2018

Department 'confident' of getting derogation on three-crop rule

Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

The Department of Agriculture has said it is 'confident' of gaining a derogation for Irish farmers on the three-crop rule, in light of the difficult weather in recent months.

The Department says it has put forward a strong case to the EU Commission seeking a derogation in relation to the Crop Diversification obligations for the 2018 Scheme Year.

"We are confident that the case being made meets the relevant standards, as set out in the Regulations, for such an exemption.  A number of Member States have recently been granted such an exemption due to difficult weather in the autumn/winter of 2017." 

It also said that while formal approval from the EU Commission for the Irish derogation is now awaited, the advice from the Department is that where alternative crop options are not available to allow farmers to be compliant with Crop Diversification rules, growers can make crop choices that best suit their current situation, even if this leaves them non-compliant with the Crop Diversification rules.

Teagasc said recently that there are opportunities for both tillage farmers and livestock farmers to co-operate successfully this year. Livestock farmers are conscious that forage feed stocks need to be replenished above previous levels.

“Little or no spring planting has been done to date. Spring wheat, spring oats and beans are past their optimum planting date. Crops planted from now on will be lower yielding and will result in a late harvest,” according to Shay Phelan, Teagasc Tillage Specialist.

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