There will be a second tranche of applications for GLAS later this year.
Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said the precise date has not been fixed yet, but it is likely to open in the early autumn and will close before the end of the year, with the objective of starting farmers in their new GLAS contracts from January 1, 2016.
These contracts will run for five calendar years.
Mr Coveney said last week, “I have been monitoring the uptake under the first tranche very closely, and with over 21,000 applications already registered and increasing daily, I believe the Department is well on the way to achieving its targets for 2015 as a whole.”
“I anticipate that we will approve some 25,000 applications from Tranche 1”.
The second tranche will be welcomed by many farmers, particularly new entrants in 2015, who were unable to apply in the first tranche, and farmers who deferred applications in order to adjust or split parcels on their 2015 BPS applications, to optimise the environmental dividend and annual payment in GLAS.
GLAS is structured along three distinct tiers, with priority entry for farmers in Tier 1 (those with farmland bird habitats, commonages, and high status water areas, for example).
But farmers in Tier 3 can significantly increase their chance of approval by selecting one of the four key Tier 2 environmental actions (minimum tillage, catch crops, low-emission slurry-spreading, or wild bird cover).
He also announced additional time for commonage GLAS planners to complete and submit plans.
The new deadline will be August 31.
Farmers with commonage must lodge their individual GLAS applications by May 22.
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