An IFA delegation led by president Tim Cullinan, including deputy president Brian Rushe, national environment chair Paul O’Brien and the rural development chair Michael Biggins, recently met with Bord na Móna chief executive Tom Donnellan and his team.

The main issues discussed were concerns about the ‘rewetting’ programme, which will see 200,000ha of bog restored over the next five years, and the potential impact on neighbouring farmland.

“There is a genuine concern about how the programme will affect local farmers. Bord na Móna assured IFA that there would be no risk to neighbouring lands. It was agreed that IFA and Bord na Móna would establish a working group to ensure constant dialogue on these and other projects as they are rolled out,” he said.

Bord na Móna is also rolling out a suite of renewable energy projects and initiatives.

“It is important that there is a full and ongoing consultation with farmers. While there are genuine concerns about some of the projects, there may also be opportunities for farmers,” he said.

The delegation also raised the impact on horticulture farmers as a result of Bord na Móna’s exit from producing peat for horticulture.