IFA Rural Development Chairman Joe Brady has said the first batch of 130 appeals has been sent to the Independent Panel as part of the ANC review.
The Panel was set up to deal with areas that were either taken out or those trying to get in for the first time. 1,500 individual appeals representing 762 townlands have been lodged. The largest number of appeals are from Wexford at 570, with smaller numbers from another 17 counties.
Speaking following a meeting with the Department of Agriculture in Portlaoise, IFA is urging farmers who have not yet appealed to do so immediately as the closing date is next Monday, Apr 8th. He also called on the Department to make contact with all appellants and to send them the information relevant to their townland.
At the meeting, IFA raised a number of issues which would appear to discriminate against areas. These include the inclusion of the GLAS Wild Bird Cover area as tillage; the disproportionate effect that feedlots and intensive units may have in the calculation of stocking density; the accuracy of the field size data; and the five-year permanent pasture rule where land use has changed over the past number of years.
Joe Brady said that a commitment was given that the Appeals panel, chaired by Padraig Gibbons and including Paud Evans and Jim O’Mahoney, will look at all information available. If new data is furnished which supports the appeal, those areas will qualify for full payment in 2019 and beyond.
IFA is advising all farmers, including the 4,000 who qualify for the first time, as well as those who lost out, to tick the ANC box on the 2019 BPS online application form.
The ANC scheme is a vital support for nearly 100,000 farmers, which will be worth €250m in 2019 following the Budget increase last October.