After three years of negotiations, a CAP deal was agreed at EU level on Monday. The outcome represents the end of CAP as we know it. Despite the political narrative, no longer is it a policy to support food production. The direction of travel is clearly focused on rewarding landowners for delivering an environmental dividend. The extent to which such a policy can be defended when allocating support to future CAP budgets remains to be seen. We carry extensive coverage and analysis throughout this week’s paper. Our payments calculator in this week's paper shows how convergence and eco schemes will shape entitlement values over the next six years.

Speaking after the deal was struck, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue described it as a “really good day for Irish farm families”. It is a view that he will no doubt be asked to defend. While securing Ireland’s €10.74bn fund is positive, many farmers view the deal as one that will bring more costs, more compliance measures and more restrictions on output while receiving less financial support.