There was some consternation when Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney told farmers during an IFA north Tipperary AGM on Tuesday, that the next Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) could “take effect in a couple of years’ time”.

Farm schemes, including GLAS and BDGP, have already been extended for one year due to delays in the next CAP cycle and many farmers will be concerned that complications could arise from a further push back.

The minister hastened to add that he was not trying to “pretend to do the job” of current Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue.

“Certainly, by the end of this year, we do need to have a clear plan for what the new CAP will need to look like,” Minister Coveney said.

But he added that the timeline was really up to the European Commission on when the next CAP was introduced.

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