IFA National Grain Committee Chairman Liam Dunne welcomed the announcement by Minister Coveney that Ireland will introduce coupled aid for protein crops and equivalent practices that will allow tillage farmers to meet the crop diversification requirements through the establishment of a winter cover crop as an agri-environmental measure under the GLAS Scheme.
Mr Dunne said, “Irish tillage farmers and the industry face significant challenges arising out of the new CAP not least due to the significant reduction in the value of their Single Farm Payment but also from increased compliance costs due to greening coupled with extremely volatile grain prices. The complexity of the new system alone will see some growers reduce or switch away from tillage production thus reducing Ireland’s arable land pool. There is a real danger of a significant contraction of the industry as growers struggle to contend with increased bureaucratic requirements, falling prices and increasing production costs. It is in this context that tillage growers must be given access to the new GLAS Scheme given the extremely challenging income situation that they now face. The Minister must seek further flexibilities to greening that will allow for efficient crop production while reducing compliance costs for growers, given the fragmented nature of farming in Ireland.”
“Irish farmers need the maximum flexibility to sustainably grow crops in what is considered an extremely challenging environment compared too many of our EU counterparts,” Liam Dunne concluded.