‘Would avoid hard-pressed farmers being asked to return up to 100% of the BEAM money already received which in certain cases is a €10,000 penalty’
Sligo News File
A compromise could be found to the issue of the 5% BEAM scheme stocking reduction, says chairman of the ICSA Edmund Graham.
The ICSA he said, “is asking the Minister to negotiate an option for carbon reduction involving trailing shoe and/or protected urea as an option for those who cannot meet the 5% reduction in organic nitrogen.
“This would avoid the appalling vista of 8,000 hard-pressed farmers being asked to return up to 100% of the BEAM money already received which in certain cases is a €10,000 penalty. The reality is that not only are farmers struggling with the complexity of this requirement but neither Teagasc nor the Department have the tools to advise farmers of where they stand in a timely and accurate fashion.
“The option to allow farmers who can’t meet the 5% requirement to use trailing shoe and protected urea as an alternative is win-win as it delivers carbon mitigation and is in line with the national strategy to deliver carbon reduction in Irish agriculture. Therefore it should be a very welcome proposal in Brussels. I am calling on Minister McConalogue to tackle this as a matter of urgency,” he added.