DEAR SIR: I am a full-time, middle-aged beef and tillage farmer with a young family farming along the Meath-Westmeath border.
I have been keeping a keen eye on all contributions to this paper in recent times regarding the CAP redistribution.
Like I have already said, I farm full-time, still have substantial bank commitments in complying with pollution and slurry storage, have already taken a one-third cut in my payment, have come under immense pressure regarding the increased cost of rented land and I now feel my farming career will come to an abrupt end if all these new changes come into being.
I ask the questions that nobody seems to be asking.
When I was going to agricultural college, the most important calculation was family farm income equals farmer’s income off-farm, plus spouse income off-farm and any other incomes, plus farm profit. I believe this should be used when capping of BPS payments or front-loading of payment occurs.
Should anybody in receipt of civil-service pensions or old-age pensions be allowed to claim BPS? Of the 72,000 odd farmers that Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan thinks would benefit from 100% convergence – how many are actually still farmers? How many actually have jobs, along with their spouses, that exceed €60,000 combined?
And, finally, the political spin by others regarding the huge BPS payment received by factory feedlots is a sideshow, for if the truth be known, then some factories in a roundabout way claimed mine and every other fool’s BPS payment who fed cattle in winter in recent years.