Welsh slam hill scheme cut-off

22 November 2000

Welsh slam hill scheme cut-off

By FWi staff

WELSH farmers representatives have called for the National Assembly for Wales to take a more consistent approach to delivering hill and upland support.

The National Farmers Union Cymru-Wales says the new Tir Mynydd Scheme and other projects to ensure a sustainable industry send conflicting messages.

Arable and root crops must appear on IACS forms submitted prior to 15 May, 2000 for qualification under this category of the environmental element of Tir Mynydd.

But NFU Cymru-Wales head of policy Mary James says this disadvantages producers who may be forced to sow after this date.

This will discourage farmers from growing these crops, undermining efforts by the agriculture department and countryside agencies to encourage them, she says.

Farmers are urged to grow arable and root crops to improve the quality of finished stock and benefit the environment.

Ms James said: “The Tir Mynydd scheme literature itself alludes to the benefits for farmland birds and small mammals of arable and root crops, and to exclude crops sown post 15 May, 2000 gives quite contradictory signals to the farming industry.”

Malcolm Thomas, director of NFU Cymru-Wales, said members had expressed concerns that bad weather would mean they missed the 15 May cut-off.

He said no-one would lose if the cut-off was removed and it would show the Assembly was taking a flexible stance to try to revive farming fortunes.

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