Disadvantaged area payments will be later this year, but other payment dates are unchanged.
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Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue has revealed that payment is expected on October 17 in the Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC), in which there are significant changes to the stocking rate requirement in 2023. The previous payment date was in September.
This year, there's a whole suite of new schemes, applications systems, monitoring systems, validation and processing systems, and payment systems.
"The scheme implementation timelines, including closing dates and payments dates, is an ambitious timeline, and it will require intensive and focused effort from all concerned to ensure that payments can be made in the October to December period", said Minister McConalogue.
Farmers will have extra time to make their all-important annual CAP scheme applications. The closing date for the Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS) and other area-based schemes applications (including the ANC Scheme for disadvantaged areas) is, two weeks later than previous years.
This gives farmers and advisors more time to understand the radically changed new CAP requirements.
Also, 21 BISS public meetings and farmer clinics commenced last week, with presentations from Department officials on the new schemes, or one-to-one support with applications.
In Munster, the upcoming information meetings include a one-to-one clinic from 12 noon to 7pm, followed by a public meeting starting at 8pm on April 3 in the Falls Hotel, Ennistymon, Co Clare; a one-to-one clinic from 10am to 4pm on April 18 in the West Cork Hotel, Skibbereen, Co Cork; a one-to-one clinic from 12 noon to 7pm followed by a public meeting at 8pm on April 19 in the Parkway Hotel, Dunmanway, Co Cork; a one-to-one clinic from 10am to 4pm on April 20 in the mart at Kenmare, Co Kerry; a one-to-one clinic from 12 noon to 7pm followed by a public meeting at 8pm on April 25 in the Talbot Hotel, Clonmel, Co Tipperary; and a one-to-one clinic from 12 noon to 7pm followed by a public meeting at 8pm on May 9 in the Rose Hotel, Tralee, Co Kerry.
Advice will be available on making applications online for the BISS and other area-based schemes, and the Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP).
Minister McConalogue said an advance payment for BISS is expected on, in line with the mid-October payment date in previous years for the BPS, which BISS replaces.
Payment will still be based on entitlements, but there is a new "active farmer" check, and "very positive" changes to land eligibility, which allow scheme payments on greater areas of scrub and other areas deemed beneficial for the climate and environment.
The "active farmer" check ensures the person receiving payments is the person farming the land.
is also the expected payment date for the , a completely new scheme in 2023, commonly known as front-loading.
The new Eco Scheme replaces many elements of the old, but is essentially a new annual agri-environment scheme with a menu of actions to make it attractive to as many farmers as possible. The expected advance payment date is .
Balancing payments for BISS, CRISS and the Eco scheme are expected in, the same timeline as in previous years.
The Complementary Income Support for Young Farmers (CIS-YF) replaces the Young Farmer Scheme. The CIS-YF payment is expected in December, the same timeline as previous years.
The Protein Aid Scheme and Straw Incorporation Measure are largely unchanged, with payment expected in December, the same timeline as previous years.
Annual claims for the new ACRES and expanded Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) are also made through the BISS application. ACRES and OFS payments are expected in November.
DAFM mechanisms used to check scheme requirements also change in 2023, especially with the mandatory introduction of the Area Monitoring System, required under EU regulations. AMS uses regular and systematic observation and assessment of agricultural activities by satellite or at least equivalent means.
Minister McConalogue said AMS has many benefits for farmers, including fewer on-farm physical inspections, and warning alerts to farmers to minimise non-compliances, thus allowing farmers to correct mistakes and have more time to respond to queries without impact on payments.
DAFM, the ICBF and Bord Bia have also organised nine public information meetings on the new SCEP.
The meetings in Munster are at Treacys West County Hotel, Ennis, Co Clare on March 28; Westlodge Hotel, Bantry, Co Cork on April 18; and Brandon Hotel, Tralee, Co Kerry on April 20. These meetings commence at 8pm, but DAFM officials will be available from 6pm to assist farmers with SCEP applications.