The amended CAP strategic plan has been submitted to the European Commission for consideration.

The Department of Agriculture stated that “the updated plan takes account of the observations received from the European Commission in March and it reflects the outcome of extensive discussions with the European Commission at official and ministerial level over the past three months”.

The original draft was submitted last December, and sets out the detail of the proposed schemes for direct payments and Pillar II support schemes.

The European Commission expressed some reservations over the “level of ambition” of aspects of the plan, particularly around organics and forestry.

It is understood the plan is “fundamentally” the same as the original, with the changes far from radical. That said, farmers will be anxious to see how the criteria for schemes have been altered.

Sinn Féin agriculture spokesperson Matt Carthy has called for the immediate publication of the redrafted plan, describing it as “another solo run” by Minister Charlie McConalogue. Carthy said the minister has “consistently refused to engage” on the plan.