Rural Development Reports
Rural Development Council Report December 2020
- Exact figures are not available at the time of writing but approximately 3,000 farmers applied for TAMS in Tranche 19, which closed on November 13th. In addition, 1406 applicants were carried forward from the previous tranche to give an overall application of approximately 4,500 farmers.
- Approvals of these applications will be made shortly. Anyone not approved in tranche 19 will be carried into Tranche 20, which closes in mid-January 2021.
- IFA is insisting that there must be no delay in approvals for tranche 19 as to date the process is too slow.
- So far in TAMS 33,738 approvals for TAMS have been issued. However, 6,685 applicants have not proceeded with their approval.
- Payments of €239.816m have been paid out to 17,487 farmers to date. A further 1,000 farmers have lodged payment claims.
- When the carryover allocation from TAMS 1 is taken into account, €253.624m has been spent out of the 2014 – 2020 RDP allocation of €395m.
- In the 2020 Book of Estimates €82.5m is allocated with approximately €65m paid out to date. It is expected that the full allocation will be paid out by year end. Under CAP transitional rules IFA have insisted the scheme to continue into next year.
- In Budget 2021 €85m was secured for TAMS.
- The amendment to TAMS to increase the investment ceiling for pigs and poultry investment from €80,000 to €200,000 has been passed and will come in in 2021.
- For derogation farmers, spreading slurry using Low Emission Slurry Spreading (LESS) is mandatory since April 15th 2020. Under CAP rules mandatory measures cannot be funded, therefore farmers who are in nitrates derogation are not eligible to receive Grant Aid for LESS equipment, a one-year grace period has been granted which means a derogation farmer must have purchased LESS equipment prior to April 14th 2021 to be eligible for TAMS grant aid.
- At a recent meeting with the dept of Agriculture, IFA also raised the necessity to increase the standard costings as they have not been reviewed for over 2 years.
2020 BPS/ANC Schemes
- IFA met the Department of Agriculture in early September to press for early pay-out across all schemes.
- The 70% advance BPS payment was made on the 16th October. So far 120,134 farmers have been paid the advance amounting to €800m. The balancing 30% will be paid out on Dec.
- ANC payments commenced on 16th September last. 92,279 farmers have been paid to date, amounting to €199m. Payments are being issued to around 1,000 farmers per week as they meet their minimum level stocking requirement.
- The balancing 15% payment will be paid in early December.
- IFA has got a commitment that any file that is out for inspection will not hold up payment for BPS or ANC.
- ANC payments are worth €250m to nearly 100,000 farmers.
- The Department’s LPIS review is continuing in counties Meath, Cavan, Longford and Leitrim. IFA insisted that there is no repeat of last year’s debacle in Co. Louth where there were significant delays in payments due to digitising of maps.
- Farmers in townlands that lost out under the appeal can now take their case up with the Ombudsman office.
- IFA has requested that information to the unsuccessful townlands is issued by the Department of Agriculture, so that areas know what they can take up with the Ombudsman.
- Of the 315 townlands which have appealed, 72 were successful with 22 townlands coming for the first time.
- Areas that were successful having been previously excluded, will get full payment restored this year. New areas will get full payment also. For those not successful, who have previously been included, they will qualify for a 40% payment in 2020 but will get no payment in 2021.
- Advance GLAS payments commenced on the first week in November which was two weeks ahead of schedule.
- 42,728 farmers have been paid the advance to date amounting to €153m
- Regular pay runs will be in place over the coming weeks to issue payments as GLAS cases are cleared for payment
- Any GLAS participants with outstanding documentation, including LESS or Rare Breed Forms, or those who have been contacted by the Department with queries in relation to their GLAS participation, are urged to respond as soon as possible in order to facilitate the early issue of payments
- The remaining 15% will be paid in May 2021.
- At a recent meeting with the department of Agriculture, IFA got confirmation that 36,000 farmers, who are currently in GLAS 1 and GLAS 2 will have their plans extended into 2021 and beyond if necessary, under EU CAP Transitional rules.
- IFA stressed the need for a simple process without additional cost for farmers to extend plans and that payment levels must be fully maintained for all farmers.
- The department confirmed that all GLAS 1 and 2 participants will be contacted shortly and given the option to ‘opt in’ or ‘opt out’ of the GLAS extension period.
- IFA raised the issue of where land leases are due to expire and a renewal of the lease is not possible, that flexibility must be given to farmers to move options to another parcel.
- For derogation farmers spreading slurry using Low Emission Slurry Spreading (LESS) is mandatory since April 15th 2020. Under CAP rules mandatory measures cannot be funded therefore farmers who are in nitrates derogation and participate in the GLAS Low Emission Slurry Spreading (LESS) action will not be paid for this action after April 15th 2020. IFA is calling for flexibility to be given to these farmers similar to what is allowed in TAMS, that derogation farmers should be eligible for payment under GLAS LESS action until at least April 2021.
EU Transitional Rules
- EU Transitional proposals have been passed by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.
- Amendment to the RDP to ensure the roll-over of existing multi-annual schemes has been drafted (Beef Data and Genomics Programme, Burren Programme, GLAS and GLAS+, Organic Farming Scheme, Sheep Welfare Scheme in 2021) and it’s expected to be approved in the near future.
EU/COPA Developments on CAP
- IFA is engaging with COPA and the EU commission on various aspects of CAP such as the transitional regulations, relaxation of BPS rules including inspections, applications dates and earlier payment dates for 2020 schemes.
- Ongoing dialogue with the Department of Agriculture to ensure a case is made to Brussels on changes to GLAS, ANC and TAMS schemes.
Rural Development Committee meeting in December.
Michael Biggins – Chair
Denis Griffin – Executive