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Saturday 15 December 2018

Tillage farmers to be offered financial incentives to produce fodder as crisis looms

Currently over 23,000 hectares of catch crops are supported under the Agri-Environment Scheme, GLAS.
Currently over 23,000 hectares of catch crops are supported under the Agri-Environment Scheme, GLAS.
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

A new incentive measure has been announced for tillage farmers to produce additional feed this Autumn through a financial commitment of up to €2.75 million.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., today launched the scheme having secured the agreement of the Minister for Finance & Public, Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe T.D.

This measure will provide an incentive of €155 per hectare for tillage growers who grow a temporary crop of short rotation grasses for fodder production over the winter months and €100 per hectare for those growing catch crops such as  fodder rape, turnips etc.

Currently over 23,000 hectares of catch crops are supported under the Agri-Environment Scheme, GLAS. This additional funding commitment aims to incentivise a doubling of this area.

Referring to the launch Minister Creed said; ‘I am acutely aware of the need to prepare for the winter ahead. I have been actively engaged with the Fodder Group and through their work, maximising production of home grown fodder is a collective priority this autumn. Through this incentive, I am encouraging tillage growers to actively engage in the fodder market’.

 ‘This year has been a challenging year for both Livestock and Tillage farmers. This measure will support Tillage farmers to supply into what is a strong market for fodder’, added Minister Creed.

It comes as Irish dairy farmers face an €800m income hit in 2018 according to Mr. Pat McCormack, President of ICMSA who added that the situation could get even worse depending on weather conditions between now and next April.

"This is the dairy sector alone and does not take account of the equally significant income hits in the other farm sectors. 

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"Lets’ be very clear, the impact of the weather-related issues in farming since this last time year will not only hit farmers pockets but will impact right across rural Ireland and this is an issue that will simply have to be moved up the agenda of Government," he said.

Having met members across the country this week, Mr. McCormack said, that the level of concern and stress on farmers is unprecedented and at this stage, very concrete measures are going to have be implemented to boost fodder supplies and secondly reduce demand for fodder. 

Rules

The Measure will be available to all tillage farmers but only apply to land not already included under the GLAS Catch Crop Measure or land declared as Catch Crops to satisfy the Ecological Focus Areas requirements under Greening.

A GLAS participant may apply for this Measure on tillage land not in receipt of GLAS Catch Crop aid.

The crop must be grown to commercial requirements and the recommended seeding and fertilisation rates must be adhered to.

The crop must be grown on lands declared as tillage in your 2018 BPS application.

A minimum area of 3 hectares and maximum area of 50 hectares will apply. 

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