Talks in Brussels are continuing to agree a new Common Agricultural Policy to operate up to 2027.
At present it looks as if Small and medium-sized farmers are set to receive front-loaded payments in the next CAP. Front-loading’ is essentially a top-up payment for the first, not yet set, number of hectares of a farm. To fund the front-loading, all farmers are facing a possible 10% cut to their direct payments. With The average farm size in Ireland is 32 hectares a small farmer could receive an extra €40 per hectare for the first 30 hectares which is a significant boost for their farm income. On the other hand, a farmer with 100 hectares will receive nothing for the other 70 hectares and will have i incurred a 10% direct payment cut.
The European Commission favours a 10% figure with a derogation for member states to reduce this in how they redistribute payments in other ways. Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue was strongly opposed to these payments being forced on member states. Negotiators expect a deal on the next CAP will be reached by Friday.