By Darren Carty
ICSA caution on ewe premium
At last week’s Irish Cattle and Sheep Association’s (ICSA) seminar in Ballybofey, Co Donegal, sheep chair John Brooks told a large attendance that falling ewe numbers across Europe could see the need for the reintroduction of a premium.
While Brooks welcomes any potential support for the sector, he highlighted potential pitfalls, saying that any increase in supply could have a severe negative effect on price. The share a farmer receives from the sales of produce was also highlighted as an area for concern.
Brooks is calling for the introduction of an EU-based meat industry regulator to look at “who gets what out of our produce”. He commended EU commissioner Phil Hogan for looking favourably on this objective and welcomed similar calls from other farming organisations.
TAMS II deadline
Keith Thompson, adviser with Raphoe-based Agricultural consultancy firm Edward Browne Ltd, reminded farmers that the current tranche of TAMS II closes on 25 March.
He said all supporting documentation must be submitted within 10 days of the application. For new entrants, applications cannot be submitted until a valid BPS application is submitted.
A minimum investment of €2,000 excluding VAT was highlighted, with grant aid payable on a maximum investment of €80,000, rising to €160,000 for partnerships. Planning permission or a letter of exemption from the county council is required in most cases.
– Nathan Tuffy