The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) have welcomed the introduction of an identification system by the Dept. of Agriculture where DAFM administration staff will have the ability to identify certain farmers who have specific constraints attached to their holdings, according to Colm O’Donnell.
Farmers who are unable to maintain the 0.15 L.U./Ha stocking rate for the ANC scheme on land parcels due to compliance with Agri Environmental measures such as GLAS,AEOS,SAC,SPA,CFP etc.can seek a stocking density derogation on these land parcels from the DAFM.
While Dept. records can confirm farmers availing of a stocking density lower than the 0.15 L.U. /Ha annually,it seems to create havoc each year in the administration process of clearing ANC payments to affected farmers on time.
Currently farmers identified on the system requiring a stocking derogation are being written to by the DAFM and are being given the opportunity to fill and return a pre printed application form identifying land parcels requiring the annual derogation.This will enable administration staff to systematically capture the lower stocking restriction at parcel level on effected holdings in advance of processing 2016 ANC applications.Once identified,these farmers may be be exempt in future years, he said.
Concluding,O’Donnell advised that farmers need to carefully examine the form with their planner so that the information matches with the 2016 BPS application form and return it to the Direct Payments Unit,Government offices DAFM,Portlaoise,Co. Laois without delay.