IFA Rural Development Chairman Flor McCarthy has called on the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to pay out all outstanding direct payments due from 2012 to help address the financial hardship facing farmers as a result of the current fodder crisis.
Mr McCarthy said up to 3,000 AEOS 2 farmers are due €10m in outstanding payments from last year. In addition across a range of other schemes a small number of farmers are due payments where there may have been problems with their applications. “There are still some farmers who have not been paid their Disadvantaged Areas payments for last year as their files have not been finalised for payment. Any delay in payment is a cause of financial hardship given the difficult farming conditions experienced since last summer.”
The IFA Rural Development Chairman advised farmers in disadvantaged areas to familiarise themselves with the changes to the 2013 scheme. The main changes include an increase in the stocking rate period from 6 consecutive months to 7 consecutive months to have the 0.15 lu/ha. The average stocking rate across the whole farm for the 12 months remains at 0.15lu/ha. The retrospective 0.3lu/ha which applied in last year’s scheme does not apply this year.
Flor McCarthy also pointed out that farmers in mountain grazing areas will not incur any cut in payment this year. This follows on Minister Coveney’s reversal of his earlier decision not to pay the top-up for cattle only farmers in mountain areas.