The Department of Agriculture has indicated to IFA that the third phase of GLAS will open for applications in mid-October. The target is for a total of more than 50,000 farmers to be in the GLAS scheme from January 1, 2017.
Almost 38,000 farmers are currently in the scheme, and due a full GLAS payment for 2016. This includes 26,263 farmers in GLAS I and 11,685 in GLAS II. Of these, 4,000 and 2,500 respectively are in GLAS+.
IFA is proposing a number of amendments to the GLAS scheme in the next phase. Among these are:
- Improved payments across the wide range of measures
- Increasing the maximum payment for GLAS and GLAS+
- Restoration of 10ha limit for low input grassland
- Restoration of hedge planting
- Increasing the number of farmers who can qualify for GLAS+ in commonages and Natura areas
- Allowing grain farmers to avail of GLAS+ where they have put green cover in for the total farm.