GLAS 3 approval letters to issue to over 12,000 farmers this week

Approval letters under the third tranche of the Green Low-Carbon Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS 3) are to start issuing to farmers this week, the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, has said.

Responding to a parliamentary question from Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin this week, the Minister said that processing of GLAS 3 applications is ongoing.

“To date some 12,400 applications have passed all validations and have been selected into the scheme.

“The remaining 1,600 applications require further checks including validation of documents and I expect this work to be completed shortly,” he said.

Figures from the Department of Agriculture show that just under 14,000 applications were submitted under the third tranche of the scheme.

Over 16,000 draft applications were made on the Department’s website. Almost 95% of applications were either Tier 1 or 2, with 830 applications falling under Tier 3 status.

The Minister recently indicated that all qualifying applicants under the third tranche of GLAS will be accepted into the scheme.

This will bring overall participation levels to over the targeted participation level of 50,000 farmers.

“GLAS has a maximum annual payment of €5,000 under the general scheme with provision for payment up to €7,000 (known as GLAS+) where the farmer is required to give exceptional environmental commitments in a limited number of cases.”

Actions that farmers can undertake in tranche three remain the same as those under tranche two with just a small number of adjustments made.

Certain actions under tier 3 of GLAS remain suspended for tranche three; the planting of new hedgerows and traditional orchards (these were also suspended under tranche two).

Meanwhile, a nesting and foraging option for breeding twite has been included under the farmland birds action for the tranche.

The aim of this option is to maintain existing nesting and foraging areas for twite during the breeding season that occur on moorland-type farmland habitats (typically characterised by being extensively-grazed dry siliceous heath, often with areas of dense bracken).

The terms and conditions for the third tranche of GLAS, along with the detailed specification for tranche three actions are available on the Department’s website.