Organic Farming Scheme
The Organic Farming Scheme incentivises the production of organic food to meet market demand
To qualify for the Organic Farming Scheme, farmers must produce livestock and crop products in accordance with EU Council Regulation (EC) No 834/07 as amended. Statutory Instrument No. 30 of 2009 imposes additional conditions that must also be met. The farmer must be an organic license holder.
To be eligible for payment, land must be either owned or leased by the applicant for the full duration of the Scheme contract and declared on your annual BPS application.
Participants who wish to avail of the Organic Farming Scheme must:
- Be an active farmer
- Be registered with the Organic Unit of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
- Be registered with and be approved as an organic operator by one of the OCB’s and hold a licence on or before date of submission of OFS application.
- Be aged eighteen years or over on the date of application.
- Declare all land farmed in the applicants name on the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS)
To be eligible to participate in this Scheme, the minimum farm area required is 3 hectares, except for horticultural producers where the minimum farm area is 1 hectare.
The maximum eligible area on which payment can be claimed is the eligible organic land declared on the initial online BPS application in the year of commencement of OFS contract.
Participants must submit an on-line application for the Basic Payment Scheme each year with the exception of existing OFS participants.
Farmers participating in GLAS may also participate in and draw down payment under OFS but may not claim payment in OFS for certain GLAS actions.
Farmers participating in the AEOS may also participate in and draw down payment under OFS but may not claim payment for the following actions on parcels declared for payment under AEOS: Species Rich Grassland, Traditional Hay Meadow, Riparian Margins, Arable Margins and Establishment and Maintenance of Habitats, Wild Bird Cover.
Organic Farming Scheme Payments will be made following administrative checks and/or on-farm inspection.
Payment of up to 75% of the annual amount will issue when the first suite of controls and checks have been carried out.
Payment of the remaining 25% will issue when all controls and checks required have been implemented and an end of year declaration of farming activity submitted.
To activate payment in the first year, a farmer must make a payment claim in accordance with the deadline for the submission of the Basic Payment applications.
Where an Approved Training Course is required, no payment can be made until the formal Certificate of successful completion has been uploaded on the on-line OFS Application System on or before 1 September of the year of application.
In addition, to allow the second stage of the annual payment to be made for participants with organic livestock other than bovines, an Annual Declaration of Farming Activity (Form OFS 2) must be completed on-line, no later than two months after the end of each calendar year.
Organic horticulture producers, with horticulture area of one hectare or more, are eligible for the following payments provided that at least 50% of the area eligible for organic payment is cropped each year:
|Horticulture Area≤ 6 hectares (ha)
|Horticulture Area > 6ha and up to 60ha
|Horticulture Area> 60 ha
|Full organic status
Organic tillage producers, with tillage area of six hectares or more, are eligible for the following payments:
|Tillage Area≤ 20 hectares (ha)
|Farmed Area > 20ha and up to 60ha
|Farmed Area> 60 ha
|Full organic status
All Other Holdings:
Applicants with 3 hectares or more of utilisable agricultural area are eligible for the following payments:
|Farmed Area of≥ 3ha up to 60ha
|Farmed Area> 60ha
|Full organic status
In addition, a top-up of €30/ha per annum for red clover is included up to a maximum of 10 hectares.
Livestock Production Payments:
Payment will be computed on the basis of a minimum stocking level of 0.5LU per hectare (32.5 KG Organic Nitrate per ha/per annum) of the forage area declared on your BPS application. 1 LU = 65kg Organic Nitrogen = 1 suckler cow. Farmers not reaching this level will receive payment on a pro rata basis to their level of production.
Crop Production Payments:
In the case of stockless organic crop producers, payment will be made in full where at least 50% of the eligible area for organic payment is cropped each year or pro- rata where less than 50%.
For farmers engaged in both arable crop and livestock production where less than 50% of the arable area is cropped, payment will be calculated on a pro-rata basis.
Failure to comply with the scheme terms and conditions will result in an appropriate penalty or sanction as outlined.