The Irish Farmers Association has held an emergency meeting in Dublin over fears about the impact of proposed CAP reforms on farm incomes.

The Association says it believes that farmers are facing the prospect of massive and unsustainable change to the way direct payments are made to them.

They say this is due to what's happening under the CAP negotiations being led by the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney.

The IFA says it believes there may be a complete upheaval of the current system, where payments are made on the basis of what a farmer is producing when a baseline measure was taken more than eight years ago.

It contends that if the proposals by the European Commission went ahead, the 55,000 most productive farmers would lose an average of 33% of their payments.

Almost 80,000 less productive farmers would get increases averaging 85% in their payments.

The Association has endorsed what it described as a compromise proposal that would see gains for 65,000 farmers of 29% and losses of 9% for 56,000 farmers.

This proposal, it argues, would be far less of an upheaval in payments.

The IFA is now planning a campaign to highlight its fears.