€314,000 paid out to farmers that lost crops in wet harvest of 2016

Approximately €314,000 has been paid out to farmers under the Crop Loss Support Measure, official figures reveal.

The €1.5 million scheme was launched by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, last July to assist growers most affected by the wet weather harvest conditions of September 2016.

A spokesperson for the department has confirmed that 69 cases have been paid out to date.

“In a large number of cases, further information has been requested from applicants, and as this information is received more cases will be processed,” the spokesperson said.

In response to a recent parliamentary question from independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice on the number of farmers that have applied for the scheme, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed confirmed that 167 applications have been received.

“In all of these cases, the applicants have been contacted directly by an official from my department.

“As the information requested is received, these cases will be examined again and further pay runs will be put in place as more cases are cleared for payment,” stated the minister.

The measure provides a financial contribution towards the cost of spring cereals crop losses in excess of 30% by yield, experienced by growers.

Turn the ‘beet’ around

Meanwhile, when asked about the possible revival of the sugar beet industry in Ireland on the back of a new factory site that is being considered on the Carlow-Kildare border, Minister Creed said: “Obviously there are many in the tillage sector who would like the industry to be re-established.

Like any new business proposal the state stands willing to provide the appropriate assistance to new enterprise; but, the case has to be made and stand up to the economics of it.

“I understand that it is a process that is underway, the groups involved are very active and it’s certainly something that would be welcomed in the tillage sector; they could really do with that boost,” he said.