BPS clinics this week: Offaly, Tipperary, Westmeath and Monaghan
Find out where to get help with your online Basic Payment Scheme application this week.

The Department of Agriculture will continue its series of one-to-one Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) clinics this week to assist farmers with making their 2019 BPS application online.

Since last year, all BPS applications must be completed online and the drop-in clinics have Department officials availabe to provide support to complete both BPS and transfer of entitlements applications.

All direct payments schemes – BPS, Greening, Young Farmers Scheme, National Reserve, transferring of entitlements, and the Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme – are now conducted online.

Tuesday 23 April

County Arms Hotel, Birr, Co Offaly.

Wednesday, 24 April

Clonmel Park Hotel, Cahir Road, Clonmel, Co Tipperary.

Thursday 25 April

The Mullingar Park Hotel, Dublin Rd, Mullingar, Co Westmeath.

Friday 26 April

Four Seasons Hotel, Coolshannagh, Monaghan, Co Monaghan

The last of the Department's one-to-one clinics will take place next week in Co Donegal and Co Mayo.

Queries

Should farmers wish to contact the Department in relation to their online application they can do so at:

  • 076 1064424 in relation to queries on registering for www.agfood.ie – for example queries on lost passwords, how to register, etc.
  • 076 1064420 in relation to queries on actually completing the BPS application once registered on www.agfood.ie or to enquire about the one-to-one clinics.
    Aim beef compensation at genuine farmers, Tipperary IFA meeting told
    How to split up the €100m Brexit beef fund was the main focus of discussion at the North Tipperary IFA meeting in Nenagh on Tuesday night.

    “Factories can’t get it, factory feedlots can’t get it, factory agents or dealers buying finished cattle in marts shouldn’t get part of it – this fund is aimed at genuine farmers, the finishers and suckler farmers, and this is who we represent,” IFA treasurer Tim Cullinan told the North Tipp IFA meeting in Nenagh on Tuesday night.

    IFA North Tipperary chair Imelda Walsh, IFA treasurer Tim Cullinan and Cork Central IFA chair Harold Kingston were all in agreement on who can’t get part of the €100m. Who exactly should get compensation is to be discussed at IFA national council (the organisation's governing body) next week.

    The fund is not going to be able to satisfy everyone. It will have to be looked at primarily as a finished beef price disturbance fund, so that means finished animals

    A €100m fund (€50m from the EU and €50m from the Irish Government) was announced in the last week as part of a campaign started by IFA after the UK voted to leave the EU. Baseline figures on losses to farmers were calculated on 2015 slaughter data.

    Capping compensation

    At the meeting in Nenagh, farmers pointed out that if the compo fund is spread too thinly, it will be no good to anyone. Some farmers put forward the case for capping the compensation to a certain number of animals per farm or maybe directing it at farms with smaller basic payments. A number of farmers suggested store and weanling producers also suffered so they need to be looked at.

    Harold Kingston said: “The fund is not going to be able to satisfy everyone. It will have to be looked at primarily as a finished beef price disturbance fund, so that means finished animals. The €50m funded by the Irish Government might have more flexibility and that maybe can be targeted more towards suckler farmers.”

    Speaking on Monday, European Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan said how the €100m Brexit beef fund will be distributed will be a decision for the Minister for Agriculture and the beef industry.

    He said: “We didn’t launch the inter-service consultation within the Commission yet, which we will launch this week. Therefore, it will be a matter for Minister Creed to sit down with the beef sector to work out how it’s going to be paid.”

    Burnout

    Also at the meeting, Harold Kingston outlined his struggles with burnout as previously very well described in the Irish Farmers Journal and subsequently on the Late Late Show.

    Galway IFA chair Anne Mitchell also gave a very good summary of pensions and the Fair Deal scheme. One of her key points was that if a person was still paying into a pension and approaching pension age then they should check out what they might be due before reaching pension age. She was clear there are potentially some small changes that can be made that can make a big difference in terms of payout.

    Read more

    Farmer burnout: 'I just had no energy left'

    Beef sector to decide how €100m Brexit fund will be distributed – Hogan

    129,000 farmers apply for BPS
    Over 20,000 farmers also applied for transfers of entitlements ahead of Wednesday night's deadline.

    Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has said that 129,000 farmers applied online for their 2018 BPS in advance of the 15 May deadline. This figure is in line with application numbers for previous years, he added.

    Just under 8,000 applications came in the final 24-hour rush before Wednesday's midnight cut-off.

    In addition, the Department received over 21,140 transfer of entitlement applications before the deadline.

    31 May deadline for amendments

    It is still possible to make changes to completed BPS applications until the end of this month without incurring a penalty. If this change means a farmer has insufficient land to use all of their entitlements, they can also submit an application for a transfer of entitlements by 31 May.

    Farmers who missed the deadline can still lodge a BPS application until 9 June, but they will lose 1% of their payment.

    Read more

    Farm Finance: securing the ANC payment

    121,500 BPS applications made just over 24 hours before deadline

    Opportunity to pay farmers for trapping carbon as part of CAP
    Countries will have the option to pay for public goods provided by farmers within the new performance and results-based CAP.

    European countries have been urged to consider an initiative that would see farmers paid to reduce, save, store or sequester carbon as part of the next CAP.

    The “Farm Carbon Forest Initiative” would reward farmers who contribute to meeting national and EU-wide climate objectives, European Commissioner Phil Hogan said at a meeting of Agricultural Ministers in Brussels on 14 May.

    Countries will have the option to pay for public goods provided by farmers within the new performance and results-based CAP. While the CAP framework allows for these payments, the political will to implement the schemes must come from a national rather than EU level.

    Possibility

    Commissioner Hogan encouraged countries to assess the possibility of including such an initiative in their CAP Strategic Plans. Under the new CAP proposals, each country will have to set targets in a strategic plan and design ways to meet those targets.

    A correctly implemented scheme could deliver a climate and business dividend with more and more consumers demanding climate friendly, high-quality food and drink products.

    “While progress has been made in reducing the impact of the agri food sector on the climate, we need to do more and we need to do it now,” the Commissioner stated.

    “Emissions from agriculture account for around 10% of total non-CO2 emissions in the EU. If we want to achieve carbon neutrality by mid-century, as promised in the Paris Agreement, we have to use all means at our disposal to not only increase carbon efficiency, but to also bring absolute emissions down whilst also securing food security.”