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DARD anounces new set-aside derogration

19 July, 2007


Sinn Féin Farming Minister Michelle Gildernew MP, MLA, has announced a relief measure for animal grazing until 31 August 2007.

The Minister said: "I am committed to making the lives of local farmers easier wherever possible and unforeseen weather conditions such as the recent heavy rainfall only add to the strains placed upon them. The unseasonal weather has caused a number of problems for farmers particularly those wishing to graze livestock and as such I have considered what relief my department can offer.

"I can now confirm that I have allowed a derogation from the Set-aside Management Rules which I hope will ease the regulatory burden placed on farmers at this time. In practical terms this will mean that farmers can now graze and harvest their set-aside land to feed livestock between now and the end of August."

The use of the set-aside land will be confined to grazing or harvesting fodder for the farmer's own livestock. This derogation is subject to the condition that the land is not used for any lucrative purpose; in particular, that no fodder produced on that set-aside land is sold. Farmers who wish to make use of this derogation must seek approval from the department.

Farmers wishing to use this derogation must write to or e-mail the department with the following details:- Business ID, Name, Address and the Farm Survey Number and Fields Numbers for the set-aside fields to be used.

Farmers should contact Single Farm Payment (SFP) Branch, Orchard House, 40 Foyle Street, Derry, BT48 6AT or e-mail [email protected]


NOTES TO EDITORS:

Derogation to allow grazing of Set-aside Land

Section 6.1 of the 2007 Set-aside Handbook and Guidance states that during the set-aside period (15 January to 31 August inclusive) you must not normally use the land for any form of agricultural production, including horticulture and grazing.

In light of the heavy rainfall the derogation will allow land set-aside in 2007 to be grazed or harvested for animal feed. This derogation allows farmers to graze set-aside land with their own animals or harvest hay or silage for their own use. This derogation is subject to the condition that the land is not used for any lucrative purpose; in particular, that no fodder produced on that set-aside land is sold.

This derogation applies to all farmers who have set-aside land and have been experiencing problems in accessing sufficient forage for their animals due to the heavy rainfall.

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