Farming schemes to become more environmentally focused in future

There is an understanding at European level that farming schemes will become more environmentally focused in the coming years.

Two of the most recent schemes rolled out of Irish farms, both GLAS and the Beef Data and Genomics Programme, were cleared due to their environmental aspects.

And the word in Brussels suggests that this is likely to be the case for most farming systems in the coming years, while moves to create schemes to tackle climate change are also understood to be given consideration at European level.

The move to more ‘environmentally friendly’ farming schemes is being driven by public good and it is understood that authorities in Brussels will view the environmental aspects of future schemes as a key selling point to non-farming tax payers across the EU28.

This is important as the majority of income generated for agricultural budgets in Europe comes from tax collections from non-farming citizens.

Speaking to Agriland recently, the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed said that any future farming schemes proposed under the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will have to dovetail to meet climate change obligations.

Future schemes will have to facilitate improvements in carbon footprints on both Irish and European farms, he said.

 I would imagine from the primarily conversations that are happening around the Council of Agricultural Ministers that the new CAP post 2020 is going to have that flavor to that as well.

On the GLAS scheme, which opened for new applications last week, the Minister said that the scheme has capacity for 50,000 farmers, where there are 12,000 places available under tranche 3.

Given the limited availability of spaces in the current and final tranche, he advised farmers to ensure that their complete their applications to ensure that the score highly under the selection criteria.

This, he said, can be achieved through good advice from your farming consultant or advisor.