The timeline for schemes opening and closing dates detailed in the table above highlights a busy period ahead for farmers and advisers.

The dates were presented at Tuesday night’s CAP information meeting held by the Irish Farmers Journal in conjunction with AIB and the Department of Agriculture.

Department speakers on the night including Fran Morrin, David Buckley and John Muldowney highlighted that with many changes on the horizon, farmers should prepare themselves to become accustomed with the changes and act early once schemes open.

The timelines are provisional and subject to change, but if there are changes they are expected to be minimal.

There are tasks that farmers can complete in advance of these schemes opening.

This includes farmers logging on to their account and checking that they meet the 4% space for nature requirement under conditionality, and also check if they comply with the 7% requirement to satisfy one eco scheme measure and two eco scheme measures with a space for nature estimate of greater than 10%.

Every farmer has received a provisional space for nature estimate and this is broken down by parcel.

Farmers are advised to check each individual land parcel to see if elements included in space for nature estimates including hedgerows, stonewalls, scrub etc are marked correctly on maps. This is important in advance of the busy calving and lambing seasons.