IFA sheep chairperson, Sean Dennehy, has welcomed the move by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, to change the reference year for sheep farmers in the rolled over Sheep Welfare Scheme.
He said this is a vital scheme for sheep farmers and it’s crucial that it reflects the level of activity on farms by recognising progressive sheep farmers who have built their numbers since the original reference period of 2014/2015.
“IFA made a strong case to the minister and the Department to have the reference period updated and the acceptance of this case by Minister McConalogue is a strong signal of support for the sheep sector and is very important in the context of generational renewal in sheep farming,” he said.
The IFA sheep chairperson said that updating the reference period is an important first step in aligning the scheme more closely with the levels of activity on sheep farms. He said it also helps build towards a €30 a ewe scheme in the next CAP that will reflect in real time the numbers of sheep farmers have.
Mr Dennehy then went onto remind farmers that new entrants must have their applications submitted by Monday, February 1.