With the opening of GLAS this week, we look at the key dates farmers who are thinking of joining the scheme need to be aware of.
As soon as possible…
Farmers need to decide as soon as possible whether the scheme is workable for them. They should look and determine what Tier the scheme categories them as.
Consider the options that would allow you and your farm to achieve the maximum payment under the scheme such as: wildbird cover; minimum tillage; low emission slurry spreading; etc.
Contact your planner and get them to submit your initial interest in the scheme.
You will receive, within days, a text code that you must respond ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to within 24 hours to confirm or reject your intentions to partake in the scheme.
When your planner visits, go through the scheme and the options available to you and decide the best options for you and your farm.
When you have decided the actions you want to take, the planner must submit and plan and a soil nutrient plan.
Pay your money and submit your plan before May 15. The Department of Agriculture has since clarified that the latest deadline for applications to the scheme is APRIL 30.
It will be September before you hear whether your application has been successful and indications are that some payment will be made to farmers in 2015.
If you are not successful this time, your application will sit and wait until next year when the next tranche is opened.
It’s unclear still if some catch crops will have to be planted this year, but most crops won’t have to go into the ground until spring 2016. New hedges should be planted before March 1, 2016 and most of the work that you sign up to do will have to be started in 2016.