A signal from the European Commission about their approval of some proposed changes to the GLAS scheme for this year in response to the current food shortage has been welcomed by Minister of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Michael Creed.
This proposal must now go through a number of additional procedures before it can be formally ratified.
This progress comes after the constant contact between the department and the officials of the European Commission, including a bilateral meeting earlier today in Brussels.
This was a direct follow-up of Minister Creed's request to Commissioner Phil Hogan.
The Commission indicated that the Irish request is eligible for formal approval when it is fully processed through the required procedures. It is proposed that the measures take effect from Saturday 1 September and this will be confirmed in advance subject to completion of all remaining procedures.
The two changes are specifically intended to supplement the stocks of winter food for Irish farmers and will be:
- Low input of permanent pasture: an attempt was made to change the specifications for 2018 to provide for the use of low-lying grassland for the production of silage / hay in the period from 1 September 2018 to 1 December 2018. There are 37,800 GLAS participants with the LIPP action with an area of more than 269,000 hectares
- The environmental management of Fallow Land: for 2018 it is proposed that off-takes be granted once-only for 2018 in the period 1 September 2018 (after the breeding season) until 1 December 2018.
All GLAS participants with these relevant actions and their advisors are informed in advance of the flexibility that becomes operational.
Minister Creed commented; "We have examined various initiatives in the light of the recent severe drought conditions and their impact on an already difficult feed supply and I had discussed with Commissioner Hogan the possible benefits of some adjustments under the GLAS scheme.