‘Inspected farmers will not see payment delays’ – IFA

Direct payments to farmers selected for inspection by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine will not be delayed this year, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

According to Brian Rushe, the association’s deputy president, the department provided confirmation that it has “secured flexibility” from the European Commission to make payments on inspection cases where the inspections are not complete.

In previous years, farmers who were selected for inspections incurred delays on their payments before an inspection was finalised.

Speaking after a meeting with department officials today, Thursday, June 4, Rushe said that “the department confirmed to IFA that all inspections and schemes are on schedule to deliver payments on time”.

There are also set to be some Covid-19-related changes to the inspections process this year, with Rushe explaining that: “Farmers will receive advance notice. The department inspectors will adhere to HSE [Health Service Executive] guidelines and social distancing, and will post the follow-up paperwork to the farmer.”

BEAM and BEEP-S

In today’s meeting with the department, the IFA also raised the issue of the 5% stocking reduction under the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) scheme, calling for an “amnesty” on the cut in light of Covid-19.

Brendan Golden, the association’s national livestock chairperson, also called for the new Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot – Sucklers (BEEP-S) scheme to be adequately funded so the 27,000 applicants can draw down the full rate of payment.

The association also called for payments under the Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) scheme and the Green, Low-Carbon, Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS) to be made on time; as well as an early announcement on the extension of GLAS contracts into 2021 under Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) transitional arrangements.

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