Saturday 8 July 2017

Fergal Monaghan from Yourcommonage is the Project Manager for the new Hen Harrier Locally Led Agri Environment Scheme

Hen Harrier Locally Led Agri- Environment Scheme.

The Hen Harrier Project are the lead partner in a consortium appointed by the Dept. of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to design and run the Hen Harrier Locally led Agri-Environment Scheme. The other partners in the project are the Golden Eagle Trust and Brendan O Gorman Accountants. Fergal Monaghan from the yourcommonage team is the new project manager for the delivery of the Hen Harrier programme.

The Hen Harrier Project will be based in Oranmore, Co. Galway. The head office is supported by regionally based Project Officers. To help design and test the new approach, a group of 12 development farmers have been selected, spread across the 6 Hen Harrier Special Protection Areas. The development of effective and practical opportunities for farmers in the SPAs cannot be done in an office. The project must be built from the ground up. The development farms give the project the ability to design and test their proposals at farm level. The farmers themselves supplement the project teams skills and capacity and give a unique insight into the issues at farm level. 

The Hen Harrier Project will give farmers in the Hen Harrier designated areas an opportunity to earn an additional income from their lands. It will recognise and reward their role in delivering important environmental services. The project will support habitat enhancement and let farmers share in the environmental dividend that this delivers. These supports will be in addition to GLAS. 

We at yourcommonage support this new direction in the delivery of agri environmental opportunities to farmers and wish the team the very best for the future.

Support Fergal and the team by following the Hen Harrier Project on twitter. You can get there by following this link. 

Monday 15 May 2017

Results of the open call for EIP proposals.

 Minister Creed Announces Selection of 22 Projects for the Next Phase of The European Innovation Partnerships Initiative The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D. today announced the results of a competitive process to select proposals to proceed to Round 2 of the European Innovation Partnerships Initiative (EIP). The EIP forms part of Ireland’s Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020, and is centred on groups of actors coming together to develop and implement their innovative ideas for how they propose to address challenges they have identified. 

The Minister commented “I am delighted to see the EIP progressing to this next phase which provides an important opportunity to respond to challenges in our sector in a new way. The proposals received in response to this call are of a very high quality and a clear indication that the EIP initiative is recognised in the rural economy as a very useful approach to addressing challenges in a collaborative and innovative way.” 

“The 22 projects which have now been selected to progress to the next phase will now be funded to develop a detailed project plan for their projects. A number of these proposals will then be selected to move forward to the full implementation phase. ” 

Support for this element of the EIP is structured around a competitive fund, whereby an open call for proposals addressing key challenges in the agri-food sector was put in place. In effect, there are two streams within this call which will be administered via the same process throughout. The first stream is focused on themes such as farm viability, economic performance, sustainable forest management, and innovative technologies. The second stream is focused on challenges related to environmental, biodiversity and climate change issues. 

The Minister added “I am delighted to see that the EIP proposals successful at this stage of the process seek to address a wide range of challenges in the sector. Successful proposals include projects to address such diverse themes as water quality, the restoration of upland peats, developing the potential of biomass, livestock management and production, forestry, organic production methods, food chain management, and a number of biodiversity challenges. This shows the potential of the EIP to encourage innovative approaches to the challenges facing the agri-food sector.” 

Round 1 of this competitive process started in December, 2016 with an initial call for proposals using a simple application form. All proposals have now been evaluated by a selection committee with reference to criteria such as value for money, relevance to the EIP programme, and compatibility with Rural Development Priorities. This generated a shortlist of 22 applicants chosen to go forward to Round 2, and these will be funded to prepare detailed project plans. Following assessment of these detailed project plans, a final shortlist will be drawn up for implementation on the ground. 

A further open call under the EIP will issue later this year. An overall funding package of €24 million has been allocated to support EIPs under these two calls. 

Information on the European Innovation Partnership initiative can be accessed on the Department website at or by contacting 

The projects selected for the next phase of the EIP Initiative are:

  1. Ovi Data Increasing sheep genetic gain in Ireland through commercial data capture Sheep Cork/Kerry. 
  2. Flock Health and Production Focus Group The challenges associated with flock health and lamb production Sheep Sligo/Leitrim.
  3. Silva Biome Novel silvacultural systems for multifunctional forestry on industrial cutaway peatlands Forestry Dublin and Meath.
  4. Carbery Alliance for Sustainable Protein Sustainable Protein in Dairy Protein/Dairy Cork Kerry. Maximising Organic Production Systems (MOPS).
  5. Maximising organic production through integrated cropping systems. Organics Countrywide.
  6. The Connected Farmer Shortening the supply chain by connecting producers to the end consumer using a novel blockchain online platform approach Food Chain Mayo.
  7. Irish Biochar Cooperative Society Biomass to Bio carbon for Farm Bio economy Biomass Limerick/Clare.
  8. Robinia Ireland Robinia – new tree species for Irish Forestry Forestry Countrywide.
  9. Irish Breeding Curlew Conservation Group Conservation of Breeding Curlew in Central Ireland. Birds/ Biodiversity Galway/Midlands.
  10. Nephin Beg Uplands Farming Group Nephin Beg Locally Led Environmental Project Peat Uplands Mayo.
  11. BRIDE Project Group Biodiversity Regeneration in a Dairying environment Dairy Cork/Kerry.  
  12. ECT (Enable Conservation Tillage) Wider adaptation of sustainable conservation tillage systems Tillage Tipperary, Laois.
  13. Duncannon Sustainable Farming Association Duncannon Sustainable Farming Scheme Water Quality Wexford.
  14. Caomhnú árann Managing the habitats of the Aran Islands to maximise their agricultural and ecological output Biodiversity Aran Islands. 
  15. DANÚ Farming Group Biological Farming Transition Programme Biodiversity Countrywide 
  16. Maigue River Operational Group Water and Agriculture – delivering environmental and economic sustainability Water Cork.
  17. Callows Farming and Wildlife Conservation Partnership The Callows farmland biodiversity Conservation Project Birds/ Biodiversity Connaught.
  18. Rush Control and Pesticide Water Quality Action Group Disseminating best management practices for rush control to improve the productivity of grassland and minimise herbicide residue loss to drinking water Water Countrywide.
  19. Wicklow Uplands Council Sustainable Uplands Agri-Environment Scheme (SUAS) Peat Uplands Wicklow.
  20. Grazing for Ecosystem Services Group The use of GPS technology in hill farming Eco systems Connaught.
  21. Blackstairs Farming Futures Partnership Delivering more for nature and sustainable farming in the Blackstairs Mountains Peat Uplands Carlow/Wexford.
  22. Limerick Lesser Horseshoe Bat Farm Project Farm Links to Lessers - a farming biodiversity project for lesser horseshoe bats in Limerick Biodiversity Limerick

Thursday 2 March 2017

Clawback on the sale of entitlements sold without land cut to 20%

Minister Creed announces cut in clawback on sale of entitlements to 20%

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., has today announced a cut in the amount of clawback applied to the sale of Basic Payment Scheme entitlements without land.  In 2016 the sale of entitlements without land was subject to a clawback of 50% of the number of entitlements sold.
The Minister commented “based on the experience of the level of sales of entitlements without land in 2016, I believe that a reduction in the level of claw-back to 20% is appropriate for 2017 and will assist farmers in future business planning”.
Following recent consultation between the Department and the Direct Payments Advisory Committee, comprising members of the main farming bodies and agricultural advisory and education providers, the Minister has decided that the level of clawback on the sale of entitlements without land in 2017 should be cut to 20%.
The proceeds arising from the implementation of clawback are used to replenish the National Reserve fund.

Saturday 25 February 2017

Farm Advisor Positions Available with Tirglas.

Farm Advisors Jobs Available.

Tirglas Farm Advisors are a large farm advisory agency with clients from Wicklow to Kerry to Sligo. We specialise in supporting farmers in Natura designated areas and in commonage. We currently have a requirement for experienced farm advisors to work in our Claregalway office. This position requires FAS and GLAS approval. Pay will be commensurate with experience, a generous package will  be available to the right applicant.

To apply please send a CV and covering letter to Applications must be made before March 10th. If you have any questions regarding this post please e mail them to us and we will get back to you.This is an opportunity to work with one of the most innovative farm advisory agencies in the country.