The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) have engaged with the Department of Agriculture, highlighting the need for flexibility and exemptions to the proposed requirements for a 5% reduction in organic manure produced on Suckler farms. This is a requirement in order to qualify for a payment in the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM), according to President Colm O’Donnell.
The Minister for Agriculture now needs to clarify whether or not suckler farmers with legally binding minimum stocking densities relating to the Nature Directives and Commonage Framework Plans(CFP) and farmers participating in the Glas Commonage Management Plan (CMP) will be required to destock numbers in order to meet the conditionality attached to BEAM.
Mr O Donnell stated “it would be unacceptable if suckler farmers are discriminated from joining the temporary exceptional aid measure because of being unable to meet the proposed criteria due to legally binding stocking minimums for existing schemes. Unless Minister Creed includes flexibilities in drawing up the terms and conditions of the new scheme, these farmers simply will be unable to apply”.
Concluding the INHFA President said “I genuinely feel that funding draw down will be left behind unless all suckler farmers can apply and a further insurance the Minister should consider is a top up payment on the first 10 cows for all participants so that no money will be sent back to Brussels “.