In its latest update on land eligibility for the new Basic Payment Scheme the Department of Agriculture has outlined the types of land with rushes that are eligible for payment.

Immature rushes are edible and may be grazed by farm animals and the development of rushes can be controlled by grazing animals or by mechanical means such as mowing/topping.

However, where rushes are not controlled they will proliferate and dominate the sward. This will result in the loss of grazing areas where animals no longer access them.

Ineligible rushes are defined by the following characteristics:

  • Tall rushes not being accessed by grazing animals;
  • High density of rushes and not accessed by animals.

The Department of Agriculture recently released a booklet as a guide to help farmers understand and comply with the rules on land eligibility for the various area related EU schemes.

It says the Terms and Conditions already issued to all farmers and the underpinning EU regulations must be complied with in full.

The purpose of this ‘Land Eligibility’ booklet is to set out what is eligible agricultural land, what are ineligible land/features and what “maintaining land in a state suitable for grazing or cultivation” means in the context of declaring land eligible for payment under the Basic Payment Scheme and other Direct Payment Schemes in Ireland.