Resolving the 5% nitrates reduction issue in the BEAM Scheme will require more than the additional six months extension that has been announced, IFA president Tim Cullinan has said.

The IFA has called for the full extent of the leeway given by the EU Commission to be outlined by the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue.

“It appears the EU Commission is willing to give more latitude than just the six months. The IFA has sought a meeting with the Minister to establish the full scope of their response and to ensure it’s applied to the scheme,” Cullinan said.

Real losses

IFA livestock chair Brendan Golden said that BEAM monies must be protected and that concise information must be made available for farmers in monitoring their compliance levels.

“Brexit losses are as real today as they were between September 2018 and May 2019. The Department of Agriculture must provide farmers with detailed monthly updates of the actual position on their farm in meeting the target.

“IFA has consistently identified this information deficit as a critical issue for farmers in complying with the scheme. Without this, key management decisions are being taken in the dark and time extensions alone will not resolve this.”

Golden said farmers who have a TB breakdown or any other exceptional event on their farm must have this treated as ‘force majeure’ and the 5% requirement removed.

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BEAM nitrates reduction update due next week

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