All farmers eligible for payment under the BPS will be paid a greening payment.
The Greening payment accounts for approximately 30% of the farmer’s total payment. It will be a top-up of the BPS and will amount to approximately 44% of the total value of entitlements activated. The average greening payment is €100/ha.
Under BPS/Greening, farmers must adhere to greening obligations. However, the vast majority of farmers will not have to make any changes to their current farming practices to meet greening obligations. In very broad terms, it is the arable sector that will have obligations under greeting. Certain exemptions also apply to arable farmers but for those who do not qualify for an exemption one or all of the following three standard measures must be implemented.
If a farmer has 10 or more hectares of arable land, he or she will be required to sow a number of different crops (2 or 3) unless they qualify for an exemption.
Ecological Focus Area (EFA)
If a farmer has more than 15 hectares of eligible land he or she will need to declare at least 5% of Ecological Focus Area on their arable land – unless they qualify for an exemption.
Protection of permanent grassland
This measure is managed at national level and so no requirement will be placed on individual farmers. However, if the ratio of permanent grassland to agricultural land in Ireland falls by more than 5% farmers who have ploughed permanent grassland will have to reinstate it. This would also mean there would be restrictions on further ploughing.
Environmentally sensitive grassland
Under this measure, permanent pasture designated as Environmentally Sensitive must not be ploughed or converted. In Ireland, these are specific areas within the Natural 2000 designated sites.
The Greening payment will account for approximately 30% of the farmer’s total payment. The payment will be a top-up of the BPS and will amount to approximately 44% of the total value of entitlements activated. Activated entitlements are those for which you have declared an eligible hectare in your application.
50% greening payment will issue from October 16th, with the remainder issuing from December 1st.
Inspections will be performed in order to ensure compliance with the Greening practices of: crop diversification; ecological focus areas; and protection of permanent pasture (from 2017).
- A minimum of 5% of applicants required to follow greening practices will be selected for greening inspections.
- An additional 5% of applicants required to have Ecological Focus Areas (EFA) will be selected for inspection in 2015. (This additional inspection rate will be required until such time as there is an EFA database in place).
- It will be necessary to carry out additional inspections in the autumn where the applicant chooses to opt for green cover or catch crops to meet the crop diversification requirement.
Inspections will take place with up to 14 days notice.
Deductions for non-compliance
There are provisions for making deductions where an applicant is found to be non-compliant with some of all greening requirements.