IFA Rural Development Chairman Flor McCarthy said that the exclusion of some AEOS 3 measures such as tree planting and the planting of new hedgerows on parcels which have already been chosen for an area based payment will discriminate against smaller farmers who will now struggle to maximise their payment under the scheme.
Mr McCarthy said the exclusion of tree and hedge planting as well as riparian zones and field margins will hit those farmers that have only one LPIS parcel on the whole farm. In many areas farmers will choose an area based measure such as species rich grassland or traditional hay meadows. These farmers will be excluded from taking another measure if they are within this parcel.
The IFA Rural Development Chairman said this aspect of the AEOS 3 should be changed as it will limit payment as it narrows down significantly the measures which can be used to achieve the maximum €4,000 payment.
Meanwhile Flor McCarthy has urged farmers interested in the scheme to apply for the scheme without delay. It is important that the full 6,000 places are fully applied for and that the maximum drawdown of €20m is achieved.