Irish flexibility under GLAS options confirmed from tomorrow

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, has confirmed that flexibility for fodder production under some GLAS options will be available from tomorrow (September 1).

Making the announcement on Twitter, the minister added that the flexibility under the Green Low-Carbon Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS) will be available until December 1.

The flexibility will apply to both the Glass Low Input Permanent Pasture (LIPP) and Fallow Land elements of GLAS.

The minister thanked European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan and his team for assistance in giving the supports.

Minister Creed commented: “These flexibilities have the potential to add to the quantities of winter fodder available by bringing over 260,000 additional hectares into fodder production.

Details of the measures are being communicated today to the GLAS participants involved and their advisors.

GLAS participants wishing to proceed with these may do so from tomorrow, and do not need to contact the department in advance of doing so.

The minister concluded, noting: “These measures will add to the range of initiatives I have already introduced this summer.

“My department will continue to monitor the fodder situation closely and work with all stakeholders.”

Commission announcement

This follows an announcement from the European Commission yesterday (August 30) of proposals for further support to EU farmers struggling from the consequences of the severe drought through derogations on greening for member states.

Additional flexibility will be granted to help farmers provide sufficient feed to their animals under the proposals, the commission announced in a statement.

These EU-wide supports include:
  • The option to consider winter crops which are normally sown in autumn for harvesting/grazing as catch crops (prohibited under current rules) if intended for grazing/fodder production;
  • The option to sow catch crops as pure crops (and not a mixture of crops as currently prescribed) if intended for grazing/fodder production;
  • The option to shorten the eight-week minimum period for catch crops to allow arable farmers to sow their winter crops in a timely manner after their catch crops;
  • An extension of the previously-adopted derogation to cut/graze fallow land to France.

The European Commission presented an additional package of actions aimed at increasing the availability of fodder resources for livestock, one of the main challenges faced by farmers dealing with the impact of drought.

This package complements the measures already announced early August, the statement added.