The Irish Farmers Journal can reveal that patchy crops will not be penalised by the Department of Agriculture this season, as Ireland and other European countries navigate through a seed shortage.

This news will be welcomed by many tillage farmers across the country who are struggling to make decisions on replanting large areas of crops and who are worried about qualifying for schemes.

The Irish Farmers Journal understands that crops with bare patches (like the one in the main picture on this article) do not need to be resown.

This image shows a large number of small bare patches where the crop failed in many different areas across the field.

Resowing these patches would damage the crop surrounding those patches and also see seed which is in short supply used to fill gaps which would most likely not be very productive due to management issues.

As a result, parcels such as this will be deemed eligible for both Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS) and Straw Incorporation Measure (SIM) payments.

If the crop shows up on the Department’s system, then the farmer will need to submit photos on AgriSnap showing the crop, but the crop will be verified and will not be subject to penalties.

Large areas of crop missing

Where a crop has not established at all in a whole section of a field, for example the field may have been flooded, then usually a farmer would need to resow this patch. However, given the current seed shortage, this is not a good option.

As we showed in figures last week, resowing reduces overall farm profit as well. The crop that you plant in its place needs to reach high yields to pay for the planting of the first crop.

If a farmer decides not to resow, then this area needs to delineated and a subdivision created in the farmer’s BISS application. This area should be called fallow.

This area will be eligible for the BISS payment, but not for the straw payment. Or if the rest of the parcel was in a protein crop, then this area would not be eligible for the protein aid payment.

Advice on decisions when it comes to replanting crops is available here.