IFA Farm Forestry Chairman Vincent Nally has welcomed changes that no longer require a farmer to retain 10% of their eligible hectares in an agricultural activity to for the purposes of retaining eligibility for BPS.
“This is a very positive development. It will allow farmers to plant all their land or to lease the land they have not planted and still retain their BPS payment,” he said.
Farmers who planted part of their holding from 2009 onwards were required to retain at least 10% of the eligible hectares declared in 2008 in an agricultural activity, subject to a minimum area of three hectares, in order to continue to be regarded as an active farmer for the purpose of retaining eligibility for BPS.
He said the changes recognise that forestry is a crop like any other crop or enterprise on the farm, and removes restrictions under the direct payment system so farmers can optimise income from their land.