The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine have received a number of DAS queries in relation to stocking rates.
One of the most common queries is where applicants have met the minimum stocking rate of 0.15LU/ha for the retention period of six consecutive months but have yet to meet the required annual stocking rate average.
This is delaying payments for these farmers until the yearly stocking rate requirement is achieved.
To explain this in an easier way, we can focus on the example in Table 1. This is a herd owner who farms 28 hectares of forage area, which requires an annual average stocking rate of 4.2 livestock units (28 x 0.15LU/ha= 4.2LU).
As can be seen in the table, this applicant met the minimum stocking rate retention period for six consecutive months from April to September 2012 (he did not meet it in March as he only possessed 1.8LU/ha and therefore the retention period can only be taken from April onwards).
However, as of yet, the applicant has not reached the annual average of 4.20LU/ha over the 12 month calendar year.
To achieve this, animals on the farm will need to be retained for at least another two to three weeks before the yearly stocking rate is achieved.
Other points to note in scenarios like this is that if the stocking rate in March of 1.8LU was held in June for example, then stock numbers would need to be maintained at current levels until the end of the year to meet the minimum stocking rate for the six months retention period.
Other DAS queries
Applicants who are participants in an Agri-Enviroment plan and, therefore, restricted from meeting the minimum stocking requirement of 0.15LU per forage hectare declared in 2012, will be updated once they plans are checked against current stocking details.
Equine applicants who submitted passports for their animals and have got these back, still require a manual check against equine databases, held by Horse Sport Ireland and Capailloir, to verify Breeding mares on the holding and that their Equine premises are registered.
There are also a number of queries regarding Differential Rate of Aid. This concerns applicants who have their main holding/residence in a non-disadvantaged area.
These applicants are paid on the ratio of non- DAS area as a percentage of the total declared area.
Where applicants feel the Department has incorrectly identified their main holding/residence, they may contact the.