In almost hushed tones that I mention the word GLAS, specifically this week I’m going to talk about GLAS 3.
While certainly in farming circles, it is well known that the department of agriculture are experiencing enormous difficulties in paying out on GLAS 1 and 2, anyone who then applied to GLAS 3, has by now, been informed by the department of the requirements of their own individual plans.
There are a number of key dates to have in mind to complete works, such as fencing, bird, bat and bee boxes, wild bird cover.
From the 1st of January this year, any farmer pressing ahead with joining the scheme is expected to abide by the schemes rules, this particularly applies to the low input pasture and traditional hay management, where a limit of 40kg of chemical nitrogen per hectare is in place from this date.
For famers taking the protection of watercourses from bovines, the fencing must be done by 31st of May; it must be made of permanent posts and wire, not plastic posts and must be 1.5m back from the TOP of the bank. It is not necessary for it to be sheep proof.
For farmers in traditional hay meadow, important dates to remember is that no stock is allowed in the area from 15th March until it is allowed to be cut after 1st of July. The chemical nitrogen restriction is also in place for this at 40kg/ hectare. Also included is a restriction on spraying; only weed wiping or spot spraying is allowed.
Almost the same rules apply in the low input pasture scheme, certainly for the nitrogen restriction and the spraying. Also topping is prohibited between 15th of March and 1st of July inclusive.
For farmers who took on the wild bird cover option, work must be completed by the 31st of May, as in the seed must be sown no later than that date, and stock must be removed by 15th of march.
To throw all the bird, bat, bee boxes and bee sand into one part, all must be in place by 31st of May. With the bee sand, the sand used must be plastering sand and must be fenced off from cattle and sheep, and the boxes cannot be on trees by a public road.
These are the main dates to look out for in GLAS 3 as they are soon will be upon us before we realise, and with a few dry days promised, it might be a good time to get out of the traps early and get started on the bigger jobs like the fencing of the watercourses and this will be really the most time consuming.
Above all else, no deviation from the plan, parcels and maps sent out from the department, which was based on your original GLAS application is allowed and could mean that the works done will not be paid if an inspection occurs.
Reports are that trade is brisk in all marts, with good prices being paid, with both factory agents and farmers anxious to secure cattle.
Best demand is for factory fit and forward stores
Cows 300- 360c/kg
Young Bulls 365-400c/kg
Reports are that the weekly kill is down by nearly 5000hd and this is forcing factories to rise prices in order to secure supplies but rather slower than I would like to see, but at least it’s going in the right direction.