Watch: Discussion on the Beef Data & Genomics Programme
On Thursday night, in what was the first of a new series, we hosted a live discussion on the Beef Data & Genomics Programme.

Around the Editor's Table will see the Irish Farmers Journal broadcast regular meetings online.

This edition focuses on the new Beef Data & Genomics Programme, with representatives from ICBF, the Department of Agriculture and the IFA around the table.

Farm finance: concerns over buying and leasing entitlements
The uncertainty over the future of the CAP budget and the make-up of schemes has meant the Department will not advise farmers when it comes to the leasing of entitlements.

Concerns were raised at a recent Agricultural Consultants Association (ACA) environmental training day as to what advice consultants should be giving to farmers when it comes to buying or leasing entitlements in the shadow of Brexit and the CAP 2020 reform.

While speculation to date indicates that current schemes will be rolled over into 2020, there is a fear that when the UK leaves the European Union it will mean a reduced budget for CAP. This could potentially lead to a linear cut to the value of entitlements, while the lease value of the entitlements could be set at a fixed fee.

There were also queries in relation to leasing entitlements in 2019 and who would own these entitlements in the eyes of the Department of Agriculture in 2020.

Due to the current uncertainty over the makeup of future CAP schemes Lisa Walsh Kemmis from the entitlements section of the Department stated: “The Department can’t currently advise (farmers) on the transfer of entitlements.”

There was a total of 9,000 transfer of entitlement applications made last year and with the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) opening up for applications on Wednesday 20 February, farmers will be making decisions on entitlements in the coming months.

Farm finance: one week left for partnership registration
Time is running out for farmers who wish to make an application.

Farmers planning to enter into a registered farm partnership (RFP) have until Thursday 28 February to make an application.

The application must be received by the RFP unit by 28 February to ensure the RFP number arrives before 15 May to allow the partnership to make a BPS application for the 2019 scheme.

Requirements

The following documents need to be included to ensure an application will be processed:

  • Completed application form.
  • Completed bank details.
  • Copy of folio of all owned lands.
  • Copy of leases for all lands leased in.
  • Evidence of agricultural qualifications for category II partners.
  • Copy of on-farm agreement.
  • A signed copy of the partnership agreement.
  • One of the main conditions for registration is that all parties included in the RFP must be associated with the herd number. Such updates are made by contacting the relevant district veterinary office (DVO).

    Following receipt of this number, all applications to the Department for BPS, ANC, TAMS, Young Farmers Scheme, etc, should be made using this RFP number.

    Farmers can receive a grant of up to 50% of the cost involved with setting up the partnership through the Collaborative Farming Grant Scheme. Maximum payment is €2,500.

    Farmers wanted for second sustainable uplands scheme
    A second round of applications has been opened for the Sustainable Uplands Agriculture-environment Scheme (SUAS) pilot project.

    The Wicklow Uplands Council is seeking commonage groups and farmers in the Wicklow and Dublin uplands to apply for the second round of the Sustainable Uplands Agriculture-environment Scheme (SUAS) project.

    The key objective of the five-year pilot project is to develop practical and innovative solutions that will address the complex agricultural, environmental and socio-economic challenges associated with the land management of commonages and hill farms in the Wicklow/Dublin uplands.

    The council is inviting interested parties to submit an expression of interest form before the 15 March deadline.

    This project represents an enormous opportunity to make a positive and lasting change to secure the sustainable future management of the Wicklow and Dublin uplands

    A SUAS information event will be held in the Brockagh Centre in Laragh at 8pm on Monday 25 February, where more details of the project and the application process will be shared.

    Future management

    Pat Dunne, the project lead for the SUAS project, said: “Following last year’s announcement, we received a substantial number of applications seeking to participate in the initial rollout of the project.

    “Through a selection process, a number of participants were identified and we are delighted that each of them are now fully engaged with management plans. This project represents an enormous opportunity to make a positive and lasting change to secure the sustainable future management of the Wicklow and Dublin uplands and we call upon all interested parties to attend the upcoming event,” he said.

    Declan Byrne, project manager of the SUAS project, said that the project has the potential to change the way agri-environmental schemes operate on the commonages across the country and once completed, will offer a framework built around a collective and formalised structure for other groups to adapt.

    What is SUAS?

    The SUAS project was developed using a bottom-up approach with the support of local upland farmers and following a selection process, the project successfully received funding of €1.95m from the Department of Agriculture under the new European Innovation Partnership for Agriculture Productivity and Sustainability (EIP AGRI) initiative.

    Information on the project and expression of interest forms will be available from Wicklow Uplands.

    Read more

    Active hill farmers to be rewarded under pilot scheme in Wicklow

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