Major concern over single payment plan

THE Irish Farmers Association (IFA) is up in arms over the restructuring of the single farm payment system which could have serious repercussions for the E100 million agriculture output in Louth.

THE Irish Farmers Association (IFA) is up in arms over the restructuring of the single farm payment system which could have serious repercussions for the E100 million agriculture output in Louth.

The IFA have said this will penalise farmers who have invested strongly and produce the most.

The IFA held an emergency meeting on Sunday and afterwards the president of the IFA John Bryan said the Minister for Agriculture was conceding too much to the European Commission on the CAP deal which plans to change the single payment system.

This will mean that the payments will change from how much a farmer produces to a flat payment per hectare regardless of productivity.

This could be a problem for farmers in Louth where productivity and investment is high.

Fine Gael county councillor Colm Markey is a farmer and former president of Macra na Feirme.

While he supports Minister Coveney and believes progress has been made in the EU talks, he is all too aware of how this transformation could affect farming in Louth.

“The more we move to a flat payment system,” Cllr Markey said, “the more it will affect farmers in Louth where there is a high degree of intensive agriculture and more money invested in the business. The flat rate would be bad news for our active progressive farmers.”