Applications open for flood crisis scheme, as calls made for speedy delivery

It has been revealed that flood-hit farmers can now apply to the support measure announced by the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, last week.

The measure is available to the farmers who were affected by the recent floods in the northeast of the county.

Upon announcing the measure last week, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine had indicated that an early closing date for applications had been proposed.

It is believed that the deadline for applications will close on Friday, September 29, in order to allow prompt processing of requests for support.

Farmers are reminded that only losses not covered by insurance will be eligible for consideration. As a result of EU regulations, farmers will only be able to draw down a maximum of €15,000 through the support measure.

Under this measure, support will apply to: losses of livestock; the loss of conserved fodder (hay or silage); and as a contribution towards the clean-up cost of agricultural lands – including the repair of fences – damaged by debris washed up by the floods.

Applications for aid by farmers in Co. Donegal impacted by recent floods must be processed without delay, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) Flood Project Chairman, Padraic Joyce.

Joyce also underlined the importance for payments to be made over the coming weeks.

At a meeting to discuss the aid package in Buncrana last night – which was organised by the Donegal IFA – farmers reportedly raised their concerns and highlighted the need for all losses to be taken into account.

In the immediate aftermath of the flooding, Minister Creed and the IFA’s President, Joe Healy, visited Co. Donegal in order to assess the damage suffered by farmers.

Northern Ireland

Meanwhile, farmers affected by the floods in Northern Ireland are also being reminded that they must submit their ‘force majeure’ applications before midnight on Thursday, September 14.

If the recent floods have affected the eligibility of farm land for schemes such as the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), farmers must submit an application, according to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

Farmers are also advised to notify the department of any damage to field boundaries such as fences or hedges.

Losses of livestock – which may affect a farmer’s ability to meet the stocking density requirements for the Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) scheme – should also be recorded on a ‘force majeure’ application.

Farmers should not be concerned about the implications of submitting a ‘force majeure’ application in 2017.

However, if farmers don’t submit an application for ‘force majeure’ and the land is ineligible and is subsequently inspected, they could lose some of their payment as a result, the department concluded.