IFA Deputy President Eddie Downey has called on the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to secure a 70% advance on the Single Farm payment from October 15th next. He said with the severe weather difficulties across Europe this year, the major increase in production costs and the severe fodder crisis, the Minister has a rock solid case to make to the EU Commission for a 70% SFP payment advance.
Eddie Downey said IFA recently met with the Department of Agriculture on 2013 payments and outlined the strong case for a 70% advance case. He said, “IFA made it very clear to the Department that incomes across most sectors are on the floor after one of the most severe fodder and weather crisis on record, and all direct payments must be made on time and within deadlines this year”.
The IFA Deputy President said payment delays under any scheme are not an option this year. “With serious income and cash flow problems and a substantial increase in merchant credit, farmers are in dire need of direct payments as early as possible.”
Eddie Downey said around 130,000 farmers had applied under the Single Farm Payment and other schemes in May. He said 74,000 farmers applied electronically on line, up from 65,000 last year. This electronic application speeds up processing and payment and improves accuracy. 30,000 farmers have submitted maps outlining changes in their areas.
The IFA Deputy President said on farm inspections are ongoing and land eligibility checks have already begun.
In all inspection cases the Department Inspector will present the farmer with a sheet, prior to inspection, setting out the details and options on notice for inspection. He said notice for inspection is similar to previous years .ie up to 14 days for land eligibility and most cross compliance, up to 48 hours for cattle and sheep IDR and no notice for SMR 11 (food hygiene), SMR 12 (feedstuffs) and SMR 16 and 18 (animal welfare) under cross compliance.