Time is of the essence for agricultural advisers who are trying to construct plans on behalf of farmers for ACRES.
Reports of technical issues with the planning system and lack of final specifications are putting a halt to progress.
The option to submit a plan is set to open in October with a closing date of 15 November.
In order to construct plans, the generic land management (GLAM) system was supposed to be available to advisers from early August.
However, reports from advisers across the country are that the system is constantly undergoing updates.
Plans are taking upwards of 12 hours to complete along with at least two farm visits.
“I honestly don’t know how I’m going to get through them by the end of November, they’re very time consuming,” one adviser from Cork told the Irish Farmers Journal.
An adviser in the Cavan/Leitrim area said: “The measures are still very unclear; we’re still only finding out things in dribs and drabs from each other [advisers].
“Up until this week I was certain that for the extensively grazed permanent pasture measure, you couldn’t cut hay or silage off it but I was told this week that now you can. I presumed it was the same as in GLAS.
“There are too many unanswered questions and too many unknowns with it.
“At this stage we should know what we are doing. Time is running out on us.”
Several farmers in this adviser’s area are showing up on the system as being in a breeding wader zone.
If the system is right, and this is the case, they won’t be eligible for sowing hedgerows.
“Most farmers would be hoping to get the €4,000 for sowing 750m of hedgerows. They won’t be able now.
“There should be a breeding wader payment to compensate this,” he said.
This adviser said that more and more farmers are considering organics when they are calling out to farms to draw up farm sustainability plans for ACRES.
“There’s been a huge interest in organics because of how poor the ACRES scheme is; the payments are not the same as GLAS and they’ve more work to do.
“I will have 50-odd from my client list who will go into organics this year,“ he said.