Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney has reminded farmers that the meetings offer them an important opportunity to inform themselves on GLAS and on how the key elements of the new CAP reform arrangements will operate, including the new Basic Payment Scheme, National Reserve, and Greening.
The meetings are at 8pm, continuing tonight (Thursday) at the Dundrum House Hotel, Dundrum, Co Tipperary; Friday night, March 20 at the South Court Hotel, Raheen Roundabout, Limerick; Monday, March 23 at the Silver Springs Hotel, Tivoli, Cork; Tuesday, March 24 at the Killarney Convention Centre (Gleneagle Hotel), Muckross Road; Wednesday, March 25 at the Connemara Coast Hotel, Furbo, Galway; Thursday, March 26 at the Mayo Convention Centre, Old Westport Road, Castlebar; Monday, March 30 at the Kilmore Hotel, Dublin Road, Cavan; and Tuesday, March 31 at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Rosses Point Road, Sligo.
For greening and on-line applications, Department staff will also facilitate farmers in obtaining advice on a one-to-one basis in the afternoon between 2 and 6 pm at the Tipperary, Limerick, Cork and Killarney venues.
Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture has published the following Q&A guide to the GLAS agri-environmental scheme for farmers and for GLAS planners, which will be continued here over the coming weeks.
If I wish to apply for GLAS how do I go about applying? Must an application be made by an approved advisor on my behalf?
Yes, you must engage an approved advisor, and they will prepare an application for you online.
You can find a list of approved advisors at the www.agriculture.gov.ie/farmerschemespayments/glas/ link.
Are there paper applications available for GLAS?
There are no paper applications for GLAS, it is an online system. Applications are prepared for farmers by approved agricultural advisors.
What is the official closing date? Is it April 30 or May 15?
The closing date for the first tranche is April 30, 2015.
Can a new entrant into farming apply for the scheme?
Not in this first tranche, as applications are based on the herd number and land parcels declared on the farmer’s 2014 SPS application.
A farmer is adding a plot onto his BPS application in 2015, can actions be applied for on this parcel?
No, only plots that existed on the farmer’s 2014 SPS application are available for actions.
With regard to the €2,000 extra payment under GLAS+, how does a farmer qualify for this? Do they have to have two priority environmental assets (PEAs)?
Yes, apart from Conservation of Farmland Bird Actions where participants can, subject to having enough land area, get up to €7,000 from one PEA.
Can rented land be included in a GLAS plan?
Rented land can be included in a GLAS application, provided that the farmer has control of the land for the full contract, and that the land was included in their 2014 SPS.
A farmer has one more year to run in REPS 4, can he make a GLAS application in 2015. Iif not, will there be another tranche available where he can do so?
At this time, it is likely that another tranche will open in early 2016.
Could you tell me if there is a minimum stocking rate required for grassland farms in GLAS?
Stocking requirements are dependent on the actions chosen, for example, the specification for Natura parcels states, “set stocking levels that avoid eutrophication, overgrazing, undergrazing and erosion...” I refer you to the scheme specification at www.agriculture.gov.ie/farmerschemespayments/glas/ for other stocking requirements.
Commonages also require stocking, but this is agreed with the advisor when drawing up the Commonage Management Plan.
What is the update on the commonages, will there be a collective agreement required?
One application only will be accepted for commonages with a gross area over 10ha. A collective agreement is still required.
Can farmers who wish to apply this year to become organic farmers, apply to GLAS as Tier 1 organic farmer?
Yes, they can.
How long do organic farmers need to be registered as organic?
They must continue to be registered as an organic producer for the duration of their GLAS contract.