Irish roll out SFP estimates

PROVISIONAL ESTIMATES of entitlement to the new single farm payment are being sent to over 122,000 Irish farmers this week (w/e Sept 10) as the Dublin government continues to roll out last year‘s CAP reform.

Ireland has elected to allocate SFPs purely on the basis of historic receipts and to fully decouple the subsidies from production.

“In essence, the SFP is based on the average number of animals or hectares on which direct payments were made to the farmer in the three reference years, 2000, 2001 and 2002,” said a department of agriculture statement.

“That average is multiplied by the 2002 rate of aid for the schemes in question.”

The SFP will then be subject to a number of cuts.

For 2005 3% will be removed under compulsory modulation, rising to 4% in 2006 and 5% in 2007.

Agriculture minister Joe Walsh has also set a provisional reduction of 3% to create a national reserve in 2005, for allocations to new entrants and farmers who have invested in their enterprises.

A definitive rate will be set following a meeting of the single payment advisory committee on Friday (Sept 10).

Mr Walsh has urged producers to cross check their statements with their own historic records.

A review and appeals process has been set up for those who think their statements are wrong.

A helpline has also been set up in the Irish Republic on 1890 200 566.

A minority of farmers will not receive their provisional statements until later.

These are producers who have submitted claims for extra SFP due to force majeure/exceptional circumstances, those who started farming during the reference period and those who inherited entitlements.

Mr Walsh has extended the application period for these measures to Oct 29.

He has also confirmed that certain farmers will be able to consolidate their SFPs onto smaller areas than they were farming in the reference period.

These include farmers who have since planted forestry, have lost land to compulsory purchase or have come to the end of a lease on rented land.

“Implementation of the fully decoupled SFP should benefit farmers by eliminating restraints such as retention periods, stocking densities, headage limits and quotas,” said the statement.

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