IFA National Grain Chairman Kieran McEvoy has met with DAFM officials in the Crop Policy Division to discuss issues in the tillage sector.
IFA acknowledged the unharvested crop support scheme which will go some way to addressing the plight of growers most impacted by last year’s weather.
However, the delegation said there are a number of growers who have uncut crop areas above the 20-hectare maximum limit and are very badly impacted as a result. The IFA delegation also expressed disappointment that no compensation was provided for growers who salvaged crops in very difficult conditions last October.
“We also raised concerns on crop diversification requirements under GAEC 7, following on from the very difficult autumn planting conditions. We emphasised the need for flexibility to be shown for farmers who have difficulties complying with these regulations,” outlined Kieran McEvoy.
DAFM officials said there are no plans to accept new applications for the Tillage Incentive Scheme in 2024. Instead, a maintenance payment for 2023 applicants will feature in 2024.
“The Minister needs to introduce funding for a new tillage Incentive and Sustainability Scheme for 2024 to support new and existing farmers in the sector. The sector is on its knees following a very difficult year in 2023; more support is needed from the Government to secure its long-term viability,” he concluded.