IFA Hill Committee Chairman Flor McCarthy has expressed serious concern at the number of Commonage Plans still outstanding. He has called on the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to convene the Commonage Implementation Committee to address this urgent matter as 2017 GLAS final payments to farmers are being held up.
Recent figures from the Department of Agriculture point to around half of CMPs completed, leaving around 2,000 yet to be finalised. IFA estimate that about 4,000 commonage farmers are still due their final 15% payment for 2017 worth €2.5m.
The National Hill farmers leader said the Minister should instruct his Department to make contact with planners to determine whether they will complete plans or not. If they are unable to complete CMPs the Department should appoint planners to finalise plans.
Flor McCarthy has already expressed concern to Teagasc where they have contracted GLAS to Farm Relief Services. Some of the FRS planners are no longer employed and it is up to Teagasc/FRS to come to alternative arrangements.
In some cases, Nutrient Management Plans have also not been submitted and it is vital that these are sent in without delay.
Flor McCarthy also pointed out that at the recent IFA/Department of Agriculture meeting on Commonages, the Department said the 2018 GLAS payments which are due in November will not be paid unless the CMPs are completed.