IFA Deputy President Eddie Downey has reminded all farmers to make sure that they have lodged their Single Farm Payment application with the Department of Agriculture before the closing date, next Tuesday May 15th.
Eddie Downey said for most farmers this is the most important application they will make this year and they must ensure that all of the details are correct.
The IFA Deputy President said the SFP application is an absolute prerequisite for all other direct payment schemes including Disadvantaged Areas, REPS 4, AEOS, Suckler Cow Welfare, Sheep Grassland, Discussion Groups and other schemes.
Eddie Downey said for farmers who are posting their application, they must get an express post receipt or a registered post receipt as proof of postage, which in turn can be used as proof that the application was made.
The IFA Deputy President called on the Department of Agriculture to immediately write out to all farmers who will be impacted by the new DAs stocking rate criteria so that farmers can make an appeal against the new rules under the various exemption criteria.
Eddie Downey said it is very important that specific land measures under REPS and AEOS, such as species rich grassland, linnet etc., have their own specific land parcel identification number (LPIS) identified on the SFP application.
The IFA Deputy President said that by ensuring the SFP application is completed correctly at this stage will help in ensuring that there are no delays with payments later in the year.
Eddie Downey said IFA has made it crystal clear to the Department of Agriculture that 2012 payments must be made on time, within the agreed deadlines and that inspections cannot hold up payments. He said “farmers who are selected for inspection cannot be discriminated against and their payments must be made on time within the deadlines.”