Farmers seeking a derogation under the 2012 Disadvantaged Areas Scheme have been granted an extra week in which to file their applications.
Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney announced yesterday that DAS 2012 applicants now have until Friday, Aug 31, to submit forms that comply with the EU’s revised stocking density guidelines and other recent changes to the regulations.
Mr Coveney said: “While I am pleased to see that the response to date has been very positive, with large numbers of applications already received, I am also conscious that the time frame is causing difficulties for some farmers who wish to apply. I have, therefore, decided to extended the closing date by one week, to Aug 31.
“I would strongly urge everyone intending to apply to do so as soon as possible and, in any event, before the end of the month”.
Farmer groups including the IFA and ICSA had argued that the proposed deadline of this Friday was too tight for them to file applications, given that some farmers had only received notice of the changed regulations late last week.
In applying for DAS funds, farmers must now have a stocking density of 0.3 livestock units per forage hectare, up from the previous 0.15 stipulation. However, those who do not comply with this rule can still seek a derogation under a number of categories.
These include participation in an agri-environmental scheme (such as AEOS or REPS), participants in a National Parks and Wildlife Service farm plan scheme, or in cases of exceptional circumstances or force majeure. DAS also applies to “new entrants” to farming, those who entered farming after Jan 1, 2010.
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