IFA Hill Committee Chairman Pat Dunne has urged the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to open up the process for planners to submit Commonage Management Plans.
IFA will not accept any delays in payments to the 7,000 commonage farmers who have applied for GLAS and whose Commonage Management Plan must be submitted by the end of October. Currently, planners are assessing commonages but do not have the facility to make the online application for the plan.
Pat Dunne said that the minimum stocking level for the individual farmer must be in place by the end of the year but IFA is insisting that once a Commonage Management Plan is lodged, this triggers full payment to the commonage farmers involved.
With the third phase of GLAS due to open shortly, it is expected that another 3,000 commonage farmers will join the scheme with a commencement date of 1st January 2017.
In relation to commonages, where difficulties may arise, IFA is insisting that the Commonage Implementation Committee meets to resolve these issues. Hill farmers must not be denied entry to the scheme and the maximum flexibility in determining the minimum and maximum stocking levels must be in place.