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Articles tagged with: Minister's Announcements

2020 Sheep and Goat Census

on Tuesday, 15 December 2020. Posted in Sheep

Annual sheep and goat census forms

Annual sheep and goat census forms have issued to over 47,000 sheep and goat keepers registered with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).

The Department selected Friday 31st December as the 2020 census date. Keepers are required to record the census data on their flock registers. Keepers should be aware that completion and return of the census is a legal obligation.

Precaution against Avian Influenza

on Tuesday, 01 December 2020. Posted in Products

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine introduces enhanced biosecurity measures as a precaution against Avian Influenza

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine today announced the introduction of regulations under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 requiring flock keepers to apply particular bio-security measures for poultry and other captive birds as a precautionary measure against Avian Influenza, as well as a ban on the assembly of birds. These Regulations provide for precautionary measures against avian influenza (bird flu).

Payments of €138 million under GLAS will commence this week

on Tuesday, 24 November 2020. Posted in Schemes

Minister McConalogue Announces 2020 Advance Payments of €138 million under GLAS will commence this week

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., today announced that the 2020 advance payments under the Green Low-Carbon Agri Environment Scheme (GLAS) will commence this week which is two weeks ahead of schedule. €138 million will arrive in almost 40,000 GLAS farmers’ bank accounts this week.

Minister McConalogue outlines €1m support for training of agricultural consultants

on Wednesday, 21 October 2020. Posted in Schemes, Courses

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., today outlined the support for the training and continued professional development of agricultural consultants that has been provided in this year’s Budget.

The Minister stated “I was delighted to secure funding for a number of new supports for farmers in this year’s budget.  As my Department rolls out these exciting new  initiatives such as the Programme of Farmer Training on Health and Safety, Agri-Environment Measures such as Biodiversity training for farmers and on-farm Biodiversity studies,  the  National Soil Sampling Programme, a new results-based Pilot project and new supports for the tillage sector, I  expect that the provision of high quality professional advice will have a key role to play. Similarly, as we prepare for the introduction of a new Common Agricultural Policy to help the sector respond to environmental and economic and social challenges, providing agricultural consultants with the most up to date information available will be a central element of our approach.”

The Minister confirmed that his Department will shortly be consulting with the relevant stakeholders regarding of the design and delivery of the training.

Minister McConalogue Announces Advance Payments of €781 million under the 2020 Basic Payment Scheme

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., today announced the commencement of advance payments under the 2020 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) (including Greening).

The Minister said, “I am happy to confirm that that advance payments under the BPS, worth €781 million to 118,000 farmers, have commenced today. These payments are a vital support for farmers across the country and contribute greatly to maximising income and cashflow in the sector in what has been a very challenging year for farmers.”

The Minister continued, “A key priority for my Department is the efficient issuing of scheme payments to farmers.  The BPS advance payment is commencing today at the earliest date possible under EU Regulations.  The payment is set at a rate of 70%, which is an increase on the 50% normally allowed under regulation.”

The Minister also commented that “compared to the advance payments made at this stage last year, an additional 3,500 farmers have received an advance payment in the first run of payments this year.  This represents an additional €34 million.  In all, some 97 % of eligible applicants for the 2020 BPS are receiving their advance payment at the earliest date possible.”

Payments under the 2020 Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme (ANC) which started in September are also continuing as more cases are cleared for payment.  The Minister added that “the advance BPS payment and the advance ANC payments taken together mean that some €974 million has now issued to Irish farmers in the last month.”

In order to facilitate farmers wishing to contact the Department regarding their BPS or ANC payments, extended hours are in place for the Direct Payments Helpline.  From Monday the 19th of October to Friday the 23rd of October, the Helpdesk will be available to answer farmers queries up to 8.30pm each evening. Farmers can ring the Helpdesk at 076 106 4420.  Farmers can also submit any queries they may have online via www.agfood.ie.

 In conclusion the Minister stated “given the central importance of the many schemes currently in place, my Department has recently written to all farmers outlining the payment schedule over the coming months for these schemes. I am committed to ensuring that these payments continue to issue in the most efficient way possible to ensure that these vital supports are delivered to farmers in a timely manner.

With this in mind, regular pay runs will be in place over the coming weeks to pay BPS and ANC cases as they become cleared for payment.  Farmers who have been contacted by my Department with queries in relation to their applications should also respond at their earliest convenience in order to facilitate payment.” 

The Minister stated “I was delighted to secure funding for a number of new supports for farmers in this year’s budget.  As my Department rolls out these exciting new  initiatives such as the Programme of Farmer Training on Health and Safety, Agri-Environment Measures such as Biodiversity training for farmers and on-farm Biodiversity studies,  the  National Soil Sampling Programme, a new results-based Pilot project and new supports for the tillage sector, I  expect that the provision of high quality professional advice will have a key role to play. Similarly, as we prepare for the introduction of a new Common Agricultural Policy to help the sector respond to environmental and economic and social challenges, providing agricultural consultants with the most up to date information available will be a central element of our approach.”

The Minister confirmed that his Department will shortly be consulting with the relevant stakeholders regarding of the design and delivery of the training.

Minister McConalogue Announces Advance Payments of €781 million under the 2020 Basic Payment Scheme

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., today announced the commencement of advance payments under the 2020 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) (including Greening).

The Minister said, “I am happy to confirm that that advance payments under the BPS, worth €781 million to 118,000 farmers, have commenced today. These payments are a vital support for farmers across the country and contribute greatly to maximising income and cashflow in the sector in what has been a very challenging year for farmers.”

The Minister continued, “A key priority for my Department is the efficient issuing of scheme payments to farmers.  The BPS advance payment is commencing today at the earliest date possible under EU Regulations.  The payment is set at a rate of 70%, which is an increase on the 50% normally allowed under regulation.”

The Minister also commented that “compared to the advance payments made at this stage last year, an additional 3,500 farmers have received an advance payment in the first run of payments this year.  This represents an additional €34 million.  In all, some 97 % of eligible applicants for the 2020 BPS are receiving their advance payment at the earliest date possible.”

Payments under the 2020 Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme (ANC) which started in September are also continuing as more cases are cleared for payment.  The Minister added that “the advance BPS payment and the advance ANC payments taken together mean that some €974 million has now issued to Irish farmers in the last month.”

In order to facilitate farmers wishing to contact the Department regarding their BPS or ANC payments, extended hours are in place for the Direct Payments Helpline.  From Monday the 19th of October to Friday the 23rd of October, the Helpdesk will be available to answer farmers queries up to 8.30pm each evening. Farmers can ring the Helpdesk at 076 106 4420.  Farmers can also submit any queries they may have online via www.agfood.ie.

 In conclusion the Minister stated “given the central importance of the many schemes currently in place, my Department has recently written to all farmers outlining the payment schedule over the coming months for these schemes. I am committed to ensuring that these payments continue to issue in the most efficient way possible to ensure that these vital supports are delivered to farmers in a timely manner.

With this in mind, regular pay runs will be in place over the coming weeks to pay BPS and ANC cases as they become cleared for payment.  Farmers who have been contacted by my Department with queries in relation to their applications should also respond at their earliest convenience in order to facilitate payment.” 

DAFM Statement for Young Farmer Scheme Applicants

on Tuesday, 13 October 2020. Posted in Schemes

Young Farmer Scheme applicants

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has written to all Young Farmer Scheme applicants with some helpful advice on how to meet the scheme terms and conditions and avoid inspection penalties. All applicants will receive the letter via their AgFood account. A webinar is organised to coincide with this letter for Tuesday 13th October.

The Young Farmers Scheme (YFS) was introduced in 2015 as a top-up to the Basic Payment Scheme.  It is accepted that the creation and development of a new farm business is financially challenging and this payment is intended as an income support to young farmers starting  their agricultural activities to facilitate the initial establishment of the farm business.

A young farmer is eligible to apply if he/she is no more than 40 years of age in the first year of application, has attained a minimum level of agricultural education and is in financial and managerial control of the holding. The Young Farmer Scheme can be paid for a maximum of five years. The detailed eligibility requirements are set out in the Terms and Conditions of the scheme which are available at the following link:  www.agriculture.gov.ie/media/migration/farmingschemesandpayments/capentitlementsrelatedapplicationforms/2020nryf/2020NRandYFSTermsandConditions.pdf

Outbreak of African Swine Fever in Germany

on Monday, 14 September 2020. Posted in Beef

The Department of Agriculture of Food and the Marine (DAFM) has drawn attention to the identification of African Swine Fever (ASF) for the first time in Germany.

ASF which is a deadly disease of pigs and wild boar was confirmed yesterday (10/09/2020) in the eastern area of Spree-Neisse within a few kilometres of the Polish border. ASF virus, which is highly fatal for pigs and wild boar, does not affect humans and poses no food safety risk. Reports to date indicate that the infection involves a single wild boar which was found dead and there have been no reports of the disease in domestic pigs in Germany. The Department has confirmed that there has been no importation of live pigs from Germany into Ireland this year to date.

Beef Finisher Payment to open for applications today

on Tuesday, 01 September 2020. Posted in Schemes, Dairy, Beef

The scheme is a one off

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Dara Calleary T.D., today announced the opening of the Beef Finisher Payment (BFP). The scheme is a one off, exchequer funded grant aid scheme under the Covid19 State Aid Temporary Framework with funding totalling €50M. The objective of BFP is to provide support for beef finishing farms in Ireland which have been severely impacted by the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic

€50 million Beef Finisher Payment scheme

on Tuesday, 11 August 2020. Posted in Schemes, Dairy, Beef

Impacted by the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Dara Calleary T.D., today announced details of the Beef Finishers Payment (BFP), an Exchequer funded scheme of €50 million to provide income support for up to 42,000 farmers with beef finishing enterprises, who have been impacted by the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Minister Calleary stated “I am fully aware of the difficulties caused by Covid-19 in the Irish beef sector and the consequences for those in beef farming and for the rural economy as a whole. Farmers with finished animals suffered from both reduced prices and other restrictions in getting animals to market. The closure of the food service market in Ireland, the UK and beyond has had a dramatic impact on the industry and in particular those who supply it to make their living.”

Department reminds farmers to respond to query notifications on Basic Payment Scheme (BPS)

on Monday, 13 July 2020. Posted in Schemes

Creed confirms 3,000 registered Farm Partnerships

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is currently processing applications for the 2020 Basic Payment Schemes.  As in previous years, this can entail queries being sent to farmers in order to complete their applications for payment.   The Department would like to remind farmers to respond promptly to any notifications they receive regarding their application. A prompt response helps the Department to progress these issues in advance of the October 16th payment date.

In previous years, all such query notifications issued by post.  However, in 2020 a certain number of query notifications will only be issued via email to a farmer’s approved agricultural advisor or by text message to farmers who have signed up to the Department’s SMS service. Those not signed up or who have not authorised an advisor will continue to receive postal notifications. This change will help to ensure BPS applications can be processed in an efficient manner as the Department continues to respond to Covid-19 related restrictions.

Should a farmer receive such a notification, full details can be accessed on the agfood.ie system used for applying for BPS.  Farmers who wish to contact the Department in relation to a notification can do so by ringing the Direct Payments Helpline at 076 106 4420 where a member of staff can advise on the matter.  Where a query is not responded to, any follow up query will issue by post.

Minster Creed announces €13.35m Basic Payment Scheme Refund to almost 100,000 farmers

on Tuesday, 30 June 2020. Posted in Schemes

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., today announced the commencement of payments of over €13.35 million to approximately 100,000 farmers.

This money was deducted from their 2018 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 are now being reimbursed to eligible farmers.”  The Minister added that “these payments will bring the total paid to Irish farmers under the 2019 Basic Payment Scheme to over €1.192 billion.”

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 unused balance is refunded to farmers in the subsequent financial year.

Creed Notes Significant Proposed Improvement in CAP Funding under Revised EU Budget Proposal

on Monday, 08 June 2020. Posted in Schemes

Increased CAP budget for the period 2021-2027

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., has noted today’s announcement by the European Commission of an increased CAP budget for the period 2021-2027 in the revised European Multiannual Financial Framework accompanying the new European Recovery Programme.

Speaking after the announcement, Minister Creed said, “From an agriculture point of view, the  proposal to increase CAP funding  announced by President von der Leyen this morning has to be regarded as a significant advance on the original Commission MFF proposal of May 2018, and is to be welcomed.”  

The revised proposal for the CAP sees additional funding being added to bring funding levels to some €375 billion (current prices), with a further special injection of rural development funds - some €16.5 billion - from the new Next Generation EU fund, bringing the total allocation to €391 billion for the period 2021-2027. 

The Minister continued, “It is no secret that I have been completely opposed to the original Commission proposal for the CAP budget which was announced back in May 2018. Since then I have worked with European Colleagues to build a broad alliance to support the maintenance of the CAP budget. These are complex proposals of course and they will require the approval of all  member states. Furthermore, their implications extend well beyond agriculture, and will have to be examined in great detail to fully assess their impact, However, I am satisfied that this proposal represents an important recognition that farmers have to be provided with reasonable support  through the next seven year period.”

Minister Creed welcomes GLAS top-up payments (GLAS PLUS)

on Tuesday, 26 May 2020. Posted in Schemes

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D, today welcomed the news that his Department has issued GLAS PLUS payments amounting to over €675,000 to 3,200 GLAS farmers.

These payments are made to farmers who, as part of their GLAS contract, have undertaken to deliver additional GLAS actions that have the potential to deliver a higher environmental dividend.

These GLAS PLUS payments come hot on the heels of the 2019 GLAS balance payments which commenced on 16 April, almost a month ahead of schedule. These payments will strengthen the financial standing of Irish farmers already challenged by the COVID-19 crisis. To date over 93% of GLAS farmers have received their 2019 balance payment, amounting to a total value of almost €28m. Since the start of GLAS in 2015 farmers have received payments valued at over €800m under the scheme.

Minister Creed announces commencement of Year 3 Balancing Payments under the Sheep Welfare Scheme

on Monday, 18 May 2020. Posted in Schemes, Sheep

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.”

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