IFA Hill Committee Chairman Pat Dunne said that more flexibility on commonages has been secured following a meeting between IFA and Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney this week.
Pat Dunne said that one of the big concerns for hill farmers under the new GLAS rules was that plans might not be completed for farmers to join the scheme. IFA got a commitment from the Minister that the Commonage Implementation Committee will intervene in such cases and get Planners to do the Plan. This plan will in turn allow commonage shareholders to partake in the GLAS scheme and secure must needed support.
In relation to commonages that have difficulty in achieving the 50% management agreement, IFA has insisted that the Implementation Committee will allow these farmers in the new GLAS scheme.
At the meeting, Pat Dunne told Minister Coveney that the priority was to get the GLAS scheme open immediately so that farmers have ample time to apply.
In relation to the minimum stocking level for Pillar I payments the Minister confirmed that the EU Commission have ruled out setting any limit. This means that the 0.1lu/ha will not apply for SFP Pillar I payment on marginal and commonage land in 2015.