O’Neill Publishes ‘Guide to Greening Payment 2015'

Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has announced the publication of the ‘Guide to the Greening Payment 2015.’

dn_screenThe Basic Payment Scheme introduced in 2015 includes new ‘greening’ rules farmers must comply with in order to receive a greening payment calculated as a percentage of the total value of entitlements activated by them each year.

The ‘Guide to the Greening Payment 2015’ sets out the rules for each of the greening measures (permanent grassland, crop diversification and ecological focus area) and, for those farmers who are required to have ecological focus areas on their holding, it explains how to complete the ecological focus area declaration.

Minister O’Neill said: “From 2015 all applicants eligible to receive the Basic Payment will have to comply with the greening measures applicable to their holding. In return they will receive a greening payment as a top up to their Basic Payment. It is important that farmers have the necessary information and advice to ensure they comply with the greening requirements.

“The ‘Guide to the Greening Payment 2015’ enhances the existing greening guidance and wide range of support tools already made available my Department. For those farmers impacted by the ecological focus area requirements the Guide explains the process for declaring ecological focus areas.

“While publication of the Greening Guide has been delayed because my Department only received confirmation from the European Commission in February that it is mandatory to declare ecological focus on a map with effect from the 2015 scheme year, the guidance now available together with previously published guidance and online tools will help farmers with positive greening requirements to make their applications.

“It is important that farmers understand the greening requirements and I urge them to read through the guidance, which is available on the DARD website.”