(Green, Low Carbon, Agri-environment Scheme) is the new agri-environment scheme under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. The scheme sets out to reward farmers for farming in an environmentally friendly manner, through annual payments. GLAS is specially designed to address three main environmental issues (Water quality, species & habitats and climate change). The scheme is set to build on the success of REPS and AEOS. Unlike REPS the GLAS scheme is not a whole farm scheme/payment. Specic options must be chosen as was the case in AEOS.
The following core management requirements apply:
Records of actions delivered must be kept.
Who can apply?
All farmers may apply. Access to the scheme is prioritised on a tiered basis.
Tier 1: Tier 1 farms are the first in line to be accepted into the GLAS scheme.
(i) Priority Environmental Assets (PEA’s). Tier 1 includes farms with Priority Environmental Assets. Where a PEA is identified on a farm these must be selected before other actions may be chosen. The PEA’s are composed of:
(ii) Intensive farmers will also qualify under tier 1 if they choose specific actions. These include:
Dairy, beef, sheep farms over 140kg N/ha who choose either
Tillage farmers with over 30ha of arable crops who choose either
(iii) Farms with registered organic farm status are also eligible under tier 1 entry.
Tier 2: Where a farm does not qualify under Tier 1 access to the scheme, it may be possible to qualify under Tier 2. Tier 2 is composed of:
If a farm does not qualify under Tier 1 or Tier 2 it may be possible to enter GLAS by choosing options from the list of general options, if places remain after Tier 1 and Tier 2 entries. All actions must be delivered on leased or owned lands and carried out on LPIS parcels with utilisable agricultural area (except bat, bird and bee boxes).
Costs Payments and applicant numbers
The costs to the farmer include: planner charge, cost of setting up the chosen actions and maintenance costs (see ready reckoner).
Payments under GLAS will be by way of annual grant for a contract period over years. Each action carries a different rate of payment. A maximum total payment of €5,000 per farmer per year is available subject to carrying out the chosen actions. An additional €2,000 per year is available for farmers with more than one PEA on his/her holding (GLAS+).
Around 50,000 farmers are expected to join GLAS, with 30,000 expected to be accepted in first year.
Applications for entry to tranche one of GLAS are now open and are to close in May
Ø After deciding to apply, a farmer must choose an approved advisor to carry out the GLAS plan.
Ø The advisor will offer advice and discuss the actions available helping the farmer to choose the best actions which he/she wishes to undertake.
Ø A farm visit is arranged, after which the advisor drafts the GLAS plan.
Ø The farmer can view the drafted plan final review before making any changes.
Ø The plan is then submitted by the advisor. Once the plan has been submitted no changes can be made.
Ø When an application is successful a farmer will have specific deadlines for their actions to be completed
Ø Farmer must maintain actions for the full 5 year contract
Ø Farmer receives annual payment for duration of the contract
The expected commencement date for successful applicants is 1st September 2015. Different actions have various completion dates.