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Minister sanctions set-aside for animal feed purposes

by 5m Editor
24 July 2007, at 5:44am

IRELAND - Mary Coughlan TD, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, has sanctioned the use of set-aside land for grazing with immediate effect.

She has authorised irish farmers to use the lands declared as set-aside in their 2007 Single Payment application for animal feed purposes. However, under the derogation, any fodder produced on the set-aside lands before 1 September 2007 must be for the producer's own use.

The unusually high level of rainfall during the past two months has swamped much of the country's farmland and destroyed forage crops. The dire situation has allowed Minister Coughlan to invoke the derogation, which is permitted under EU regulations.

Mrs Coughlan explained that under the normal rules governing the use of set-aside, the lands in question could not be used for agricultural purposes prior to 1 September at the earliest. She said that her decision “will enable farmers to use set-aside lands now for the grazing of their animals or for the production of a forage crop”. “The immediate lifting of the set-aside restriction will assist our farmers in addressing some of the fodder problems brought on by the heavy rainfall levels over several weeks,” the Minister said.

5m Editor