There are approximately 10,000 farmers taking the wild bird cover action in GLAS. A very significant area of land (approximately 20,000ha) will be dedicated to wild bird cover in total this year. These small mature crops were very noticeable during the winter – making up unharvested patches in the corners of fields dotted around the country. Most crops had established well last year due to favourable weather conditions but unlike other cereal crops they were not harvested when ripe. They were left intact in the fields. This is because wild bird crops have a far different role to play than traditional crops. Most farmers chose this action in their GLAS plans because it meant they would receive priority access to the scheme and, additionally, the payment for the action was enticing at €900/ha. There is a clear purpose for sowing the crop and the action was made enticing for a reason.

What’s the objective?