To allow for orderly planning, reduce errors and to provide farmers with adequate time to assess their options, the next phase of GLAS should be opened immediately according to Patrick Rohan, Chairperson of ICMSA’s Farm & Rural Affairs Committee. Mr Rohan also stated that certain changes to existing stipulations and some new measures are required to make the scheme more attractive to intensive farmers, particularly in light of likely forthcoming climate change commitments.
Mr. Rohan noted that farmers have had legitimate complaints that the ‘time-window’ allowed for applications in previous schemes was too narrow and that the resulting tight timescales have led to mistakes and involved penalties and disputes. He said it was in all our interest that penalties are kept to an absolute minimum and providing adequate time for careful applications will certainly help. In addition, it’s simpler and safer to access farmland during the summer period with more time available during the long evenings for the farmer and planners more time to choose options that are most suitable to the farm in question. For these reasons it is absolutely essential that the terms and conditions of GLAS 3 are finalised without delay and the scheme opened for applications, he explained.
“In relation to the terms and conditions and their relevance to intensive farmers, the current GLAS conditions are clearly not fit for purpose and GLAS needs to be made more attractive to this group of farmers – particularly in light of possible commitments under climate change and ammonia commitments. In this connection, the low emission slurry-spreading options needs to be more flexible to make it more attractive to such farmers. ICMSA also feels an additional measure to promote liming should be introduced. GLAS can play a significant and positive role in terms of the environment but it needs to be made more relevant to intensive farmers and also to be opened immediately to allow farmers make more informed decisions”, concluded Mr. Rohan.
Ends 15 July 2016.
Patrick Rohan, 087-6253506
Chairperson, ICMSA Farm & Rural Affairs Committee
ICMSA Press Office