IFA National Sheep Committee Chairman John Lynskey has welcomed the announcement from Minster Coveney on the payout of the 2014 Sheep Grassland Scheme to sheep farmers. He said the 2014 Sheep Grassland Scheme will involve payment of €15m for up to 30,000 sheep farmers.
John Lynskey said the 2014 Sheep Grassland payment has increased from €13m in 2013 to €15m in 2014, involving an increase of €1m from unused funds and an additional payment of €1m through a saving on modulation.
The following are the rates of payments under the 2014 Sheep Grassland Scheme:
|Land Category||Areas Payable||Rate/ha|
|Mountain type grazing||0 – 20ha||€22.02|
|Mountain type grazing||20 – 84ha||€18.90|
|Lowland||0 – 30ha||€52.93|
John Lynskey said these area payment rates equate to a payment per ewe varying from about €7.00 to €7.85, depending upon the number of ewes and number of hectares.
The IFA Sheep Chairman said as a result of the CAP Reform negotiations by Minster Coveney in 2015, the €15m Sheep Grassland payment will be incorporated in the Single Farm Payment of individual sheep famers.
John Lynskey said with sheep farm incomes and ewe numbers under pressure, there is a need for increased targeted direct supports for the sheep sector. He said IFA is determined that sheep farmers have access to the €5,000 GLAS scheme as well as increased availability of the €850 knowledge transfer payment. IFA is also looking for increased funding under TAMS II for sheep and a restoration in Disadvantaged Areas or ANC payments.
On commonages, John Lynskey said the GLAS scheme must be opened as soon as possible so as contracts and payments begin early in 2015.
In addition, plans must be implemented in a flexible way to maximise participation in line with the IFA 12-point plan on commonages.