The closing dates for a number of schemes vital to many farmers incomes will close this month.

1. Basic Payment Scheme – May 29

The Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) is being introduced in 2015 as part of the new measures agreed in the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.

The Basic Payment Scheme has replaced the Single Payment Scheme (SPS).

All entitlements held under SPS expired on the 31 December 2014.

A new set of entitlements will be allocated in 2015 to those eligible for an allocation under the BPS. A provisional statement of entitlements has already issued to all entitlement holders. See also: Department’s helpsheet for the BPS  

2. Young Farmers Scheme – May 29

The Young Farmers Scheme will include a mandatory top-up on direct payments in the first years of farming.

In the CAP agreement in June 2013 a provision for up to 2% of funds in pillar 1 for provided for a mandatory 25% top up on Single Farm Payment for new entrant young farmers under 40 years for their first five years of installation.

The measure is designed for young farmers to assist them in establishing their farm business and to address the age profile in the sector.

See also: Do you qualify for the Young Farmers Scheme? 

3. GLAS – May 26

The new €1.4bn agri-environment scheme GLAS aims to deliver overarching benefits in terms of the rural environment, focusing in particular on the preservation of habitats and species, on climate change mitigation, and on water quality.

It marks a new departure for agri-environmental schemes, introducing a highly targeted approach, pinpointing in advance the key priority environmental assets that we need to protect and support over the lifetime of this programme and linking these directly to the individual farmers who possess and maintain these on their land.

A standard ‘package’ of up to € 5,000 is available for eligible farmers per annum, with an additional package of €2,000 per annum for those in GLAS+, in return for exceptional environmental commitment.

See also: GLAS – priority actions that will improve your chance of success 

4. Beef Data and Genomics Programme – May 29

The new Beef Data and Genomics Programme will build on the strong link between the sustainability of Irish beef production and maximising the contribution of Irish agriculture to national climate change initiatives.

This highly innovative programme will provide support to farmers to take samples for genotyping from selected animals in their herds and to provide vital breeding data to support the development of a national cattle breeding databank.

This data will provide farmers with the tools to select higher quality and more efficient breeding replacements through the use of cutting edge genomic technology. The range of actions to be undertaken provide the basis for a payment of €80 applicable to each set of actions carried out per animal.

See also: 6 requirements of the new Beef Data Genomics Programme 

5. Organic Scheme – May 29

Supports for organic farming in Ireland are set to be boosted by 60% through the opening of the new Organic Farming Scheme.

Farmers enter into a contract for a minimum of five years, with standard rate payments of up to €220 per hectare a year during the conversion period and up to €170 per hectare when they have achieved full organic status.

Higher payment rates are available for organic horticultural and tillage farmers.

The Minister said that the closing date for applications will be May 29, 2015 and that decisions would be made at that stage on the number of applicants that will be accepted into the scheme.

Copies of the Organic Farming Scheme terms and conditions are available on the Department’s organics page. See also: New scheme to see 60% increase in supports for organics