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Minister Creed won’t give leeway on making hay while the sun shines - Martin Kenny TD

28 June, 2018 - by Martin Kenny TD

Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Agriculture, Food and the Marine Martin Kenny TD today revealed the response of Minister Michael Creed to his call for leeway to be given to farmers so that they might cut their traditional hay meadow a few days early, in order to take advantage of current good weather.

Deputy Kenny asked last week that farmers might have “the opportunity to harvest the best quality crop of hay or silage during prime weather for hay making. 

Teachta Kenny said;

“Minister Creed should give farmers peace of mind and ensure that they will not face penalties for cutting meadows a few days early.

“It is not every year that we get the type of weather that is required to make hay, especially in the North West, and as the saying goes ‘we should make hay while the sun shines."

Today Deputy Kenny received a response from the Minister which basically said that since the terms of GLAS are agreed at European Commission level, there would be no leeway.

Deputy Kenny responded:

“Frankly, I think it is ridiculous that there is no flexibility whatsoever on this matter. The Minister’s response points out that if the crop is damaged due to not being cut before 1 July, then ‘any quality loss to the value of the crop that may occur due to delayed mowing’ are included in the payments.

“His letter concluded: ‘From the environment and biodiversity point of view the Department is satisfied that meadows must remain uncut until after 1st July as set out in the Specifications and Terms and Conditions of the scheme.’

“I believe this points to all that is wrong with the EU Commission imposing farming-by-calendar on Ireland. The idea that if rain should destroy hay, left unmowed this sunny week, because of the deadline, then the environment and biodiversity will be well served as long as farmers receive payments, is just beyond belief.”

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