Recent changes announced by the Department of Agriculture to the Commonage Management Plans (CMP’s) have being welcomed by the Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association. INHFA Spokesperson Gerry Loftus stated that “these changes which allows for more flexibility on the individual min/max figures will go a long way towards encouraging the traditional hill farmer with the stable flock to now join GLAS”
The changes proposed will give planners the flexibility through derogations to change the overall commonage min/max figure and to possibly reduce the individual minimum by up to 50% if it’s deemed to be in the best interests of the commonage. Planners will also be able factor in all stock numbers grazing the commonage where as previously they were not allowed include the stock numbers of farmers that chose not to join GLAS.
Mr Loftus added that “these changes and previous changes that allowed farmers apply as individuals have come about as a result of continued pressure and engagement by the INHFA with department officials and Minister Coveney”
Mr Loftus concluded by saying “we now need Minister Coveney to clarify that from once a farmer carries out all actions required of them under the CMP then they are fully protected from any possible penalty”