If a farm does not have a priority environmental asset (PEA), in order to improve the chances of successful entry into GLAS Teagasc advises farmers to choose one of the two relevant priority actions.

For grassland farmers looking at GLAS this involves either wild bird cover or low emission slurry spreading.

Tillage farmers may choose either 10ha of catch crops or 10ha of minimum tillage.

Priority actions for grassland
Wild bird cover

Growing wild bird cover involves sowing at least 1ha of a crop such as a mix of oats and linseed each year, and leaving it un-harvested to provide food and cover for birds during the winter months.

Payment is €900 per ha per year and farmers may grow up to 3ha in one or several areas of at least 0.25ha.

Low emission slurry spreading
Low emission slurry spreading involves spreading all of the slurry applied on the farm (home produced and imported) using a trailing shoe, band spreader or injection.

These improve the recycling of organic fertiliser and help to reduce nitrous oxide emissions, ammonia emissions and odours.

Payment of €1.20 per m3 is made in arrears each year in GLAS based on the farmer’s annual declaration to the DAFM supported by evidence such as a calculation of slurry produced and imported and/or a receipt from a contractor.

Priority actions for tillage
Catch crops

Catch crops absorb nutrients and prevent leaching in the autumn/winter period. Crops containing an integral mix of two prescribed species must be sown by September 15 each year using light cultivation techniques – ploughing is not permitted. They can be grazed or removed by cultivation after December 1.

Catch crops may be rotated – to be notified to the DAFM on the annual BPS application form.
Payment is €155/ha per year and farmers are eligible for payment on up to 32ha.

Minimum tillage
Minimum tillage involves sowing crops without inverting the soil – soil cannot be ploughed. The action must be undertaken on the same parcels for the duration of GLAS and this must be carried out on the next crop establishment following approval into GLAS.

Payment is €40/ha per year with no limit on the area eligible (125ha @ €40 = €5,000)