No fines for farm­ers de­sert­ing three-crop rule

Irish Independent - Farming - - NEWS - LOUISE HO­GAN

AGRI­CUL­TURE Com­mis­sioner Phil Ho­gan has moved to as­sure tillage farm­ers they will “not be pe­nalised” for aban­don­ing the three-crop rule this year.

It fol­lows ap­proval for Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Michael Creed’s re­quest to set aside the di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion mea­sure for this year af­ter plant­ing was se­verely de­layed by the poor weather.

How­ever, in­de­pen­dent agri-con­sul­tants raised con­cerns about com­plet­ing BPS ap­pli­ca­tions for farm­ers as they have not yet re­ceived of­fi­cial con­fir­ma­tion from the De­part- ment of Agri­cul­ture. Tea­gasc said where vi­able op­tions are not avail­able, farm­ers must make it clear, on their on­line ap­pli­ca­tion, that they wish to ap­ply for this dero­ga­tion.

Boort­malt said it had reached out to grow­ers to as­sess if there was in­ter­est in ex­tra seed for malt­ing bar­ley.

Mr Ho­gan was adamant farm­ers could go ahead this year and plant with­out ad­her­ing to the rule. “I be­lieve the de­ci­sion to sus­pend the three­crop rule which I im­ple­mented on April 11 is the right de­ci­sion in the ex­cep­tional year that we’ve had,” he said.

“It will al­low farm­ers to get on with sow­ing their spring bar­ley and pro­tein crops in the com­ing weeks in the knowl­edge they will not be pe­nalised un­der the green­ing rules for three­crop di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion.

“You will ring the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture and you will be told that all the de­ci­sions are not gone through — that is the tech­ni­cal line and the of­fi­cial line. But I am telling you that I have po­lit­i­cal agree­ment since April 11 with the Com­mis­sioner for the En­vi­ron­ment that all will be okay this year on the three-crop rule,” he said. “It is the pa­per­work that is only be­ing ti­died up.” A spokesper­son for the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture said they were “con­fi­dent” the case for a dero­ga­tion met the stan­dards.

“Whilst for­mal ap­proval from the EU Com­mis­sion for the Ir­ish dero­ga­tion is now awaited, the ad­vice from the Depart­ment is that where al­ter­na­tive crop op­tions are not avail­able to al­low farm­ers to be com­pli­ant with crop di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion rules, grow­ers can make crop choices that best suits their cur­rent sit­u­a­tion, even if this leaves them non-com­pli­ant with the crop di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion rules,” it stated.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.