Members of the Agricultural Consultants Association (ACA) have closed their offices until further notice in response to the coronavirus outbreak but will continue working to meet scheme application deadlines.

Chief among these are 8 April for nitrates derogation applications and 15 May for Basic Payment scheme (BPS) applications.

ACA president Tom Canning said: “These are exceptionally challenging times for everyone in Ireland. ACA members will ensure that all deadlines are met on behalf of our 55,000 farmer clients. The majority of issues can be discussed through phone calls and emails.”

Meetings between farmers and advisors will be by appointment only. Where meetings must take place, HSE health and safety guidelines will be strictly implemented.

Farm visits

Farm visits will be completed only where deemed essential including nitrate-related farmyard assessments and TAMS applications. Advisors will conduct any required work without interaction with farmers.

“ACA members will be contacting their clients individually in the forthcoming days and weeks to ensure their applications are submitted in time for all deadlines,” Canning said.

“We are working very closely with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to resolve any issues and find solutions collectively to ensure workflows can continue as smoothly as possible for our clients under the current circumstances.”

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