One in five applying for GLAS through Teagasc may miss deadline
Teagasc has written to 1,700 farmers using its joint planning service with FRS to warn them that their GLAS applications may not be complete by 22 May.

In a letter sent on Wednesday, Teagasc warned around 1,700 farmers that they could miss out on months of GLAS payments because of the backlog in setting them up on the department's website.

"For various reasons your application was in the last 20% of applicants to be set up on the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine's planning system and because of this, it may not be possible to process your application before the closing date of May 22nd for Tranche 1," the letter reads.

Teagasc's head of advisory services Dermot McCarthy, who signed the letter, told the Irish Farmers Journal that of the 11,500 who requested assistance from Teagasc and its partner Farm Relief Services (FRS) to plan and register their GLAS application, around 9,500 were expected to go ahead with their application - but only four in five of those would be registered in time with the the department.

"We have been working 100% flat out, but we couldn't overcome the technical glitches in time in terms of setting people up on the department's GLAS system," McCarthy said.

All farmers who received the letter may not miss the deadline - "it depends on the number of dropouts, on how well the computer system works and whether there is an extension," McCarthy added.

Teagasc: deadline should be pushed back

Teagasc has been asking the department to push back the 22 May deadline. The letter sent to farmers states that it would take the agency "another couple of weeks" to register all its clients.

While the Teagasc/FRS GLAS advisory service has been working on a first-come, first-served basis, even early applicants are likely to be among those who miss out on Tranche 1 because the backlog has been building up at the stage when applications are complete and ready to set up on the department's website.

In its letter, Teagasc offers two options to farmers affected by the backlog: either go through a private planner - while warning that they, too, "are having difficulties in completing plans"; or wait until Tranche 2 of GLAS in the autumn, when "Teagasc will give first priority" to those who missed the Tranche 1 deadline.

"We don't expect major changes then - it will essentially be the same scheme," McCarthy said.

The farmer's daily wrap: M&S protest and weather warning
Catch up with all the headlines from the day and get a look ahead at tomorrow's weather.

Weather forecast

Wet and windy conditions are forecast by Met Éireann for Saturday with the risk of severe and potentially damaging gusts during the evening.

The rain will be heavy and persistent at times, with localised surface flooding possible.

Maximum afternoon temperatures will range 7°C to 11°C degrees generally.

Strong to gale force southeasterly winds will veer west to northwest during the course of the afternoon and evening.

In the news

  • Farmers from the IFA held a protest outside Marks & Spencer in Liffey Valley on Friday over reductions on the shelf price of some vegetables and potatoes to as low as 20c/kg.
  • Met Éireann has issued yellow weather warnings for the whole country that will be in place for all 24 hours of Saturday.
  • The PSNI is seeking information to help in the recovery of 20 cattle that have been reported stolen from Armagh.
  • Co-ops have suggested a weakening of dairy markets is reflected in lower milk prices, but IFA dairy chair Tom Phelan said the signs are there to hold the price.
  • Co Down-based agri supplier and contractor Joseph Walls spread lime for a customer near Castletown, Co Meath, earlier this week.
    Watch: farmers protest over low vegetable prices in Dublin
    Farmers from the IFA held a protest outside Marks & Spencer in Liffey Valley on Friday over reductions on the shelf price of some vegetables and potatoes to as low as 20c/kg.

    Potato and vegetable growers held a protest outside Marks and Spencer in Liffey Valley, Dublin, on Friday over the below-cost selling of Irish produce.

    Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, IFA potato chair Thomas McKeown said that Marks & Spencer was selling 2kg of potatoes at 39c.

    "This works out at €180/t. The costs we've had all year between the drought, the wet spring at the start and yields - yields are way back.

    "In fairness, supermarkets during the year helped during the drought, but this has started up now pre-Christmas.

    "There's absolutely no need for it. Veering away from potatoes, there's Brussels sprouts in there [M&S] - €3.00 for Spanish sprouts and 39c for Irish ones - that's wrong."

    For more on the protest, pick up next week's Irish Farmers Journal.

    Read more

    IFA protests outside M&S store over 'predatory pricing model'

    Retailers warned against Christmas food discounting

    Weather warning: up to 50mm of rain expected tomorrow
    Met Éireann has issued two weather warnings for Saturday 15 December.

    Unsettled weather is to bring rainfall of 30mm to 50mm across the country on Saturday 15 December.

    Met Éireann issued a yellow weather warning for the whole country that will be in place for all 24 hours of Saturday.

    It is predicting that heavy rain could see rainfalls in excess of 50mm in some mountainous areas.

    Wind warning

    A yellow wind warning has also been issued, as gusts of up to 110km/h are likely for Saturday afternoon.

    The warning is in place for all of the country, as south to southeast winds reach 55km/h to 60km/h on Saturday morning.

    The winds will be strongest in the east and will veer west to northwest into the afternoon and evening.

    They will further increase to reach speeds of 55km/h to 65km/h.

    Gusts associated with these winds will range from 90km/h to 110km/h.