The Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has said he does not envisage any further extension to the deadline for receipt of GLAS applications despite concerns among some that the time allowed is too tight.

Responding to questioning on GLAS from Cork TD Michael Moynihan this week Minister Coveney said he has already extended the closing date from the April 30 to May 22 and does not envisage any further extension to that.

“I have also indicated that the scheme will open for a second Tranche of applications in the Autumn,” he said.

The Minister’s decision not to further extend the GLAS deadline comes in the wake of news that Teagasc recently informed 2,000 farmers that it would be unable to process their applications due to progress in the completion of GLAS plans being very slow.

It said this was due to issues outside of Teagasc and its partner in the GLAS service FRS control.

Joint herd number concerns

Deputy Moynihan also asked the Minister this week whether adjustments are being made to allow the many farmers with joint herd numbers, to complete their applications for GLAS, which have been delayed due to the inability of his Department’s software to accommodate same.

He asked that Minister whether the deadline will be extended for farmers whose applications have thereby been delayed through no fault of their own.

Minister Coveney said the GLAS online system is a very powerful computer system which provides advisors with the tools to prepare detailed and accurate farm-plans for their clients.

The system has no difficulty in accommodating applications from farmers with joint herd numbers.

However, he said all farmers intending to join the GLAS scheme, including those with joint herd numbers, must first be linked to a GLAS advisor to allow access to their information on relevant Department databases.

To enable linking to take place the joint herd owners must first complete and submit a form (DAFM Auth 1) in which both parties authorise the Department to create the necessary link.

According to the Minister, once this link has been established there is no difficulty in preparing a GLAS application on their behalf.