The Scheme is co-funded by the European Union as part of Ireland’s Rural Development Programme, 2014-2020.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, T.D., announced today the commencement of balancing payments under Year 3 of the Sheep Welfare Scheme. The Scheme is co-funded by the European Union as part of Ireland’s Rural Development Programme, 2014-2020.
Minister Creed stated, “I am happy to confirm that the issuing of the 15% balancing payments under the Sheep Welfare Scheme has now commenced. This payment amounts to €1.82M, and is a welcome financial support at this time when farmers are facing challenging circumstances.”
Minister Creed Reminds Farmers of 15 May Deadline of Online Submission of BPS and BEEP-S Applications
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, T.D today reminded farmers that the deadline to submit their 2020 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and Beef Environmental Efficiency
Programme – Suckler (BEEP-S) applications online is Friday 15 May. The rate of submission of applications for 2020 BPS continues to be significantly ahead of last year’s rate and the BEEP-S applications are going well also.
The Department has been assisting farmers in making their applications in recent weeks through its telephone helpdesk services. The Minister announced that this Lo-call telephone service will be available to farmers for extended hours in the run up to the deadline.
Nematodirosis is a severe parasitic disease of lambs six to twelve weeks of age which become infected through ingesting large numbers of infective larvae from grazing on contaminated pasture.
The life cycle of the causative worm, Nematodirus battus, is unlike that of other roundworms in that typically it takes almost a year on pasture before the egg hatches releasing the infective larva. There is a mass hatching of eggs in spring when the soil temperature increases after a period of cold weather and disease typically occurs in April, May and June.
After ingestion by lambs, Nematodirus larvae invade the wall of the intestine. Infection is characterised by profuse diarrhoea, dehydration and weight loss. In outbreak scenarios, lambs can be seen congregating around water troughs due to the severe thirst that develops, while the ewes which are unaffected continue to graze.
This disease is best prevented by keeping the current year’s lambs off pasture that was grazed by lambs or young calves (which can be carriers of infection) in the previous year. Enterprises with high stocking rates are particularly vulnerable. Please note that twin lambs, or single lambs born to ewes of poor milking ability may be at a greater risk of developing disease as they begin consuming greater amounts of grass earlier in life. If ‘clean’ pasture is available, preference should be given to moving these lambs first.
and reminds farmers to submit their Basic Payment Scheme before 15th May
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, T.D., today reminded farmers and their advisors that the online application process for both the Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme - Suckler (BEEP-S) for 2020 and the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) is open until 15 May 2020. Suckler farmers should ensure that they apply for the BEEP-S programme in time so as to ensure that they get the full benefits of this new Programme.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is working closely with the Department of Health and with other Departments, as part of a whole of Government response to Covid-19.
The Department will also be implementing its own business continuity plan to maintain essential services. This means that the Department is taking all of the precautions necessary to protect its staff and its clients, consistent with HSE advice, but is remaining open for business, prioritising the delivery of essential services to farmers, fishermen and the food and forestry sectors.
The Department is taking necessary steps to ensure:
- that producers and processors can continue to operate effectively and keep supply lines open
- that the Department can operate as effectively as possible during the current pandemic.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine today advised farmers and advisors that the application process for the 2020 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and the Greening Scheme has now opened.
Over the coming days, farmers will be receiving a BPS information pack in the post containing terms and conditions of the scheme as well as maps and land details.
This information will assist farmers in making their online application. The closing date for BPS applications in 2020 is Friday 15th May. Farmers and advisors are urged to avail of the early opening of the application process now rather than waiting until nearer the closing date.
As in recent years, the Department will be providing a range of supports for farmers to ensure that they are in a position to apply for these important payments. Details in relation to this will be available shortly.
All elements of the Direct Payments Schemes (BPS, Greening, Young Farmers Scheme, National Reserve, Transfer of Entitlements, and the Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme) are now online. This helps to ensure that the Department can process all applications under these schemes as efficiently as possible.
Payments for farmers in the Organic Farming Scheme have commenced.
. Payments to the value of approximately €6.1 million have already been made to almost 1,300 farmers, commencing at the end of November. Payments will continue to be made to farmers between now and the end of the year.
The Minister commented “I am delighted to announce that advance payments commenced ahead of schedule and earlier than last year. The Organic Farming Scheme is one of our most successful schemes under our current Rural Development Programme and it has more than achieved its targets in terms of land converted and maintained for organics.”
The payments to farmers under this scheme mean that since September, DAFM has paid out a total of €1.55 Billion in direct payment to farmers.
Each year, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) in collaboration with Met Éireann advises farmers of the predicted risk of disease caused by liver fluke (Fasciola hepatica) infection in livestock. This forecast is based on meteorologi
The Regional Veterinary Laboratory (RVL) Liver Fluke Abattoir ELISA Survey
Blood samples collected by DAFM staff from a selection of lambs born in 2019 (928 flocks) across 25 counties were tested for the presence of antibodies to liver fluke by the DAFM Laboratory Service to determine the level of exposure of lambs in these flocks. Data from this survey indicates that the majority of infected flocks are from counties on the western seaboard. A particularly large number of positive results were reported from flocks located in Mayo and Donegal. In these counties, exposure to liver fluke was detected in June, while animals in the southwest were apparently not exposed before August. By October, there was evidence of fluke exposure in lambs from the midlands and large parts of Leinster. Please see http://www.animalhealthsurveillance.agriculture.gov.ie/ for further details and maps of test results.
The chairman of the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) Organics Project Team, Nigel Renaghan, is seeking an urgent meeting following the rejection of “over 75%” of applications under the re-opened Organic Farming Scheme (OFS).
Renaghan is seeking a meeting with the Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, Andrew Doyle, to address the issue.
The IFA’s organics chairman said: “This is despite these farmers having full organic registration.
The minister has overseen a flawed process with less than a quarter of applicants accepted into the scheme at a time when we are being lectured about the need for farmers to diversify.
“Only 55 applicants out of 225 that applied in November 2018 were eventually accepted into the scheme, despite meeting the obligations of the scheme since they committed to applying.
“These farmers have been contacted advising them that their application was not successful.
Knowledge Transfer Programme
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, today announced that payments in respect of Year 3 of the Knowledge Transfer Programme have commenced.
The Minister commented “I can confirm that the payments in relation to Year 3 of the Knowledge Transfer Programme have now commenced. I am pleased to note that these payments are commencing a month earlier than in previous years.”
The Minister added “over the three year lifetime of this programme it has played a central role in helping farmers develop the skills and knowledge which will help them to address sustainability, productivity and competitiveness challenges. This Programme has also been shown to have significant social benefits for the farming community in addition to providing important financial support.”
Given the structure of the Programme, payments are now rolling out on a sector by sector basis over the coming weeks. Payments for farmers in Equine and Poultry Knowledge Transfer Groups have now issued. Payments for Dairy, Beef, Sheep and Tillage will issue shortly.
Following on from the latest meeting of the CAP Stakeholder Consultative Committee, The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., has announced his intention to launch an open call for submissions on the CAP Strategic Plan – SWOT
The open call for submissions is part of the CAP post 2020 consultation process, under which each Member State is required to conduct a Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat analysis (SWOT) of the geographic area covered by the CAP Strategic Plan, and to engage with civil society and stakeholders to ensure the SWOT is fully reflective of the situation.
WATER ABSTRACTION REGISTRATION REMINDER
The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government launched a register of water abstractions in accordance with the European Union (Water Policy) (Abstractions Registration) Regulations 2018 (S.I. No. 261 of 2018) in August 2018. People who abstract 25 cubic meters (25,000 litres) of water or more per day are required to register their water abstraction with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The official deadline for registration passed on 16 November 2018 and the EPA estimates that about 10 to 15% of abstractions of 25 or more cubic meters per day have been registered to date from the farming sector.
The Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine has announced that interim Nitrogen and Phosphorus statements (N&P Statements) for the period January to May 2019 are now available on the Department’s online system www.agfood.ie.
These statements are particularly useful to allow farmers to plan for the remainder of the year, in order to ensure compliance with the limits of the Nitrates Regulations, thus avoiding penalties for breaching the limits of 170 kgs of Nitrogen per hectare or the limit for those who hold an approved derogation is 250 kgs of Nitrogen per hectare.
Farmers not already registered for agfood.ie can do so by logging onto www.agfood.ie and clicking the 'Register' button. To register a mobile phone number for future SMS text alerts log on to https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/contactsupdates/ to access the sign-on form.
Each year a small proportion of Irish farmers lose income by exceeding stocking rate limits in the Nitrates Regulations, the Department of Agriculture has said.
The Department advises that farmers can avoid these penalties by taking action during the year.
Farmers can avoid penalties through a range of options, including exporting slurry during the year to less intensively stocked farms or renting extra land and submitting the appropriate forms to the Department.
Another option is monitoring their livestock numbers throughout the year and reducing them where there is a risk of exceeding the limit.
The Department has encouraged all farmers who exported slurry, rented extra land or temporarily moved cattle to another holding to submit the appropriate forms as soon as possible (not later than December 31) to the Nitrates section, Johnstown Castle, Wexford.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, TD, added his support to the Farm Safety Week being run in Ireland by the IFA.
Minister Creed said “I very much welcome that the IFA are leading the fifth annual Farm Safety Week. It is important that every organisation involved in agriculture continually raises the need for farmers to farm safely”.
This initiative along with others such as the recent HSA Farm Safety campaign at the end of April which focused on the safe use of tractors and machinery, are very important in increasing awareness of the unacceptable level of farm accidents that occur every year within our industry and the need for continual awareness of farm safety.
It is important to remember that farms are both work places and family homes and it is important that the whole family is alert to the risks that exist on farms. Great care is required to ensure that tragic accidents do not occur. One of the first steps in helping to achieve a safe farm is for farmers to adhere to the Farm Safety Code of practice and to review their Farm Risk Assessment.
Minister Creed added, “While there are many risks in farming, farming does not have to be a dangerous occupation. Behavioural change is what is required to prevent many accidents. It is a case of being aware of the dangers and taking the time to do what is necessary to minimise the risk. There are plenty of ways to reduce the danger, without spending huge money. The first of these is to complete a Farm Risk Assessment”.
Minster Creed Announces €13.4m Basic Payment Scheme Refund to 98,000 farmers The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., today announced the commencement of payments of over €13.4 million to approximately 98,000 farmers.
Minster Creed Announces €13.4m Basic Payment Scheme Refund to 98,000 farmers
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., today announced the commencement of payments of over €13.4 million to approximately 98,000 farmers. This money was deducted from their 2017 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payments under the Financial Discipline rule, and is now being reimbursed in line with the EU regulations.
Minister Creed said ‘I am pleased to confirm that these payments totaling €13.4 million are now being reimbursed to eligible farmers.’ The Minister added that “these payments will bring the total paid to Irish farmers under the 2018 Basic Payment Scheme to €1.19 billion”.
Note to editors
In the context of the annual budgetary procedure of the European Union, the financial discipline mechanism which is implemented by the Member States involves a monetary deduction (1.4% for the 2018 reduction) from some direct payments thereby creating a financial Crisis Reserve for the European Union. The crisis reserve is intended to provide additional support for the agricultural sector in the case of major crises affecting agricultural production or distribution. In the event that the Crisis Reserve is not activated in the financial year, or it is not fully utilised, the balance not used is refunded to farmers in the subsequent financial year, hence this reimbursement.