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Grain growers call for an extension to GLAS cover crop deadline

The Irish Grain Growers Association (IGGA) has called for an extension to September 15 deadline for sowing catch crops under the GLAS.

The organisation representing tillage farmers has urged the relevant parties to consider extending the deadline by two weeks due to unfavourable weather conditions in recent weeks.

A spokesperson for the organisation said the weather has delayed the harvest of spring barley, oilseed rape and winter wheat crops on many farms.

And as a result, farmers plans to sow catch crops under the scheme have been delayed and many will struggle to have the crop sown before next Thursday’s deadline (September 15).

The group believe the two-week extension is reasonable as pushing it out any further would reduce the catch crop benefits of growing the catch crop to both the soil and the farmer.

Requirements of catch crop cultivation

Farmers who plan to sow catch crops under the Department of Agriculture’s GLAS scheme are required to do so by September 15, using light cultivation techniques and by either broadcasting or drilling the seed.

According to the Department, farmers are required to grow a minimum area of 10ha (priority action) or 4ha (general action) under the scheme.

Other requirements include:

  • Catch crops can be rotated from one year to the next, provided the initial area chosen continues to be delivered
  • The action can be delivered on full or split LPIS parcels
  • Where the action is on a split parcel it must be digitised out and marked on the map submitted with the GLAS application
  • The catch crop seed mix must consist of at least two species in an integral mix and one species must not account for more than 75% of the mix
  • The under sowing or sowing of grass crops is not permitted
  • The catch crops must remain in situ from the date of sowing to December 1 annually

Source: Agriland