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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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How farmers can extend their GLAS, OFS and BDGP contracts

There has been a strong response rate by farmers who are being offered an extension in their contracts under the Green Low Carbon Agri-environmental Scheme (GLAS), the Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) and the Beef Data Genomics Programme (BDGP).

That is according to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D.

These extensions are to offer scheme participants an additional year in the schemes to the end of 2021.

Uptake

The uptake as of this morning (Tuesday, December 22nd) is that:

  • 91% of GLAS I and II participants have responded already, and of these, 98% have applied to continue in the scheme for next year
  • 86% of OFS participants have responded. Of these, 97% have applied to continue in the scheme for next year
  • 48% of BDGP participants have responded and of these, 97% these have applied to continue in the scheme for next year (note: this scheme has a later closing date (15th January) than GLAS and OFS (31st December)

Commenting on the response rate so far, the Minister commented, “I am delighted by the level of interest shown to date by farmers in extending their contracts under these schemes.”

“The provision of funding in the Budget for the continuation of these schemes for those farmers has been justified by the huge level of uptake.”

“These schemes are an important income support for farmers as well as helping drive our climate, organic and sustainable beef production agendas.”

“Securing the budget for these critical schemes for 2021 was a key priority of mine, and I encourage those who have not responded to date to do so before the respective deadlines.”

“This will give those farmers and my Department certainty going into 2021 as regards meeting scheme requirements and budgetary demand.”

How to extend participation in GLAS, OFS and BDGP

GLAS

Firstly, farmers with GLAS 1 or 2 contracts which expire on December 31st, 2020 have been offered an extension of 1 year.

  • A letter was posted to each participant on Monday 14th December 2020 advising them of their options and how to apply
  • There are 2 ways in which they may extend their contracts
  1. a) By text message:

o   A text message issued on Wednesday, December 16th, 2020 to each participant who is registered with the Department to receive texts, giving the option to reply ‘DAFM Y’ (for Yes) or ‘DAFM N’ (for No).

o   A 2nd text message issued on Monday, December 21st, 2020.  Participants again have 72 hours from receipt of the text message to reply.

b)By logging on to agfood.ie

The screen, which went live on Tuesday, December 15th, 2020, will continue to be available until the deadline. An application may be submitted via agfood by the participant, or an agent authorised to act on his/her behalf in relation to GLAS – the options provided are ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

  • Any queries to GLAS section at [email protected]or to tel 0761-064451
  • Closing date for receipt of their response is 31st December 2020.
Organic Farming Scheme

Farmers with Organic Farming Scheme contracts, which expire at December 31st, 2020, have been offered an extension of 1 year.

  • A letter to each participant issued on Thursday 10th December 2020 advising them of their options and how to apply.
  • There are 3 ways in which they can extend their contracts
  1. a)By text message: A text message issued on Monday 14th December 2020 to each participant registered with the Department to receive texts, with the option to reply ‘DAFM Y’ (for Yes) or ‘DAFM N’ (for No).

A 2nd text message issued on Monday 21st December 2020.  Participants again have 72 hours from receipt of the text message to reply.

  1. b)By email to [email protected]advising, they wish to apply for an extension to their Organic Farming Scheme contract.
  2. c)By registered post to Organic Unit, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Johnstown Castle Estate, Co Wexford, Y35 PN52.
  • Any queries to Organic Unit at Tel. 0761-064451
  • Closing date for receipt of their response is 31st December 2020.
BDGP
  • Lastly, letters issued to the relevant farmers from week beginning December 14th offering them the opportunity to apply for a further year in BDGP. Farmers will be able to apply by logging in to www.agfood.ie, or by replying to a text that will issue from the Department if they are registered to receive texts.
  • The application process will be open from December 14th, 2020 to January 15th, 2021. The relevant information is included in the letters which issued to farmers.
  • Any queries to the Beef Schemes Division at Tel. 0761 064423 or email [email protected]
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