The Farmers' Union of Wales today welcomed a Welsh Assembly Government decision to extend the deadline by three weeks for farmers to apply to join the All-Wales Element of the new Glastir agri-environment scheme after recently adding an additional option within the scheme.

"Obviously, we welcome the decision to move the deadline forward but in reality it will create even more confusion for farmers trying to come to terms with an already complicated scheme," said the FUW's land use committee chairman Richard Vaughan, of Tywyn, Meirionnydd.

"We feel strongly that such confusion could have been avoided. We have lobbied long and hard, stressing that Glastir was far too hastily drawn up without enough consideration given to how practical it would be for farmers.

"We have repeatedly called for all the details to be properly put in place before the scheme was opened so that this inevitable confusion could have been avoided. This latest deferment just adds to the conflicting advice circulating within the farming community."

Application packs will now be issued from October 4 and farmers will have until November 22 to return their completed application form.