IFA Welcome €18m Sheep Grassland Payment
IFA National Sheep Chairman James Murphy said that the Department of Agriculture has confirmed to IFA that the Sheep Grassland payment worth €18m will be paid out to over 27,000 flock owners this week. Welcoming the payment, James Murphy said IFA had worked hard over many years to secure this payment for sheep farmers.
James Murphy also reminded sheep farmers who have not already sent back their sheep census forms to the Department of Agriculture to do so immediately, in order to be sure of getting paid under the 2012 Sheep Grassland scheme.
He said the Department of Agriculture has also confirmed to IFA that the closing date for the return of forms has been extended to March 11th at the latest. He said a completed census form is absolutely essential to get the Grassland payment and also necessary to avoid any cross compliance penalties under the Single Farm Payment.
The IFA sheep farmers’ leader said the form is very easy to complete, but critically important in terms of income. “Farmers should pay particular attention to completing the form correctly as inaccuracies or errors have resulted in unnecessary losses to farmers in previous years.”
James Murphy said, “2011 was a relatively good year in terms of lamb pries with an increase in the order of 10% on 2010 levels. James Murphy said for the sheep sector to continue the recovery at farm level it is absolutely essential that lamb prices are maintained at 2011 levels. It is very clear future growth in the sheep sector will be very dependent on strong lamb prices.”
The IFA sheep man said market prospects for 2012 look positive with the EU forecasting continuing tight supplies, declining production and strong prices.