5 new schemes every farmer should know about

1. TAMS II (€395m)

The farm investment element of the RDP is highly anticipated by farmers particularly young farmers.

The allocation for the new Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS) II has been increased significantly to €395m.

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It is intended that the initial strands of TAMSII to be launched will include Young Farmer Capital Investment, Beef and Sheep Handling and Weighing Equipment, Dairy Equipment, Low Emission Slurry Spreading and Organic Capital Investment.

TAMS II will subsequently be expanded to cover farm nutrient storage and animal housing.

Click here to see the areas identified for funding

Farm nutrient storage – Grant aid will be provided for the construction of farm nutrient storage facilities on farms.

Animal housing – Grant-aid will be provided in order to support the construction of new animal housing on Irish farms. The conversion of existing buildings will not be permitted

Dairy equipment – Under the 2007-2013 RDP, grant-aid was limited to applicants who held a particular quantity of milk quota. Under this new scheme, grant-aid will be extended to farmers who do not hold milk quota at the time of application.

Low emission spreading equipment – In order to encourage the purchase by farmers of this specialised type of equipment, this scheme will not be subject to the overall investment ceiling which will be applicable under the other investment schemes introduced under TAMSII.

Animal Welfare and Farm Safety – This scheme will provide grant-aid for the purchase of a select range of items, including important safety elements such as replacement slats and safety fencing.

Pig and poultry investments in energy, water meters and medicine dispensers – This scheme will provide grant-aid for the upgrading of existing buildings in the two sectors mentioned.

Organic Capital Investment (organic farmers only) – This scheme will provide grant-aid for capital investments across a wide range of areas specifically targeted at the organic sector.

Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme – This scheme will provide an enhanced grant-rate of 60% in respect of investments by young farmers in the specific areas previously identified. In addition, grant aid support for dairy buildings will be available specifically for qualifying young farmers.

2. Beef Data and Genomics Programme (€295m)

The new Beef Data and Genomics Programme will build on the strong link between the sustainability of Irish beef production and maximising the contribution of Irish agriculture to national climate change initiatives.

This highly innovative programme will provide support to farmers to take samples for genotyping from selected animals in their herds and to provide vital breeding data to support the development of a national cattle breeding databank.

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This data will provide farmers with the tools to select higher quality and more efficient breeding replacements through the use of cutting edge genomic technology. The range of actions to be undertaken provide the basis for a payment of €80 applicable to each set of actions carried out per animal.

3. Knowledge Transfer Measures (€112m)

A suite of knowledge transfer measures will underpin the success of the new RDP, and will consist of support for Knowledge Transfer Groups across a number of sectors (including beef, sheep, dairy, equine, poultry and tillage), support for European Innovation Partnership Operational Groups, Continuous Professional Development for advisors, and targeted on farm advice in relation to key animal health and welfare issues.

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The proposed Knowledge Transfer Groups will build on the progress made under previous discussion groups and enhance the level of knowledge transfer by incorporating a more output focused approach.

4. New Disadvantaged Area Payment (€1,370m)

The current levels and structure of payments under the new Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) Scheme (formerly known as the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme) will continue, pending the reassessment of the areas covered by the Scheme on the basis of new biophysical criteria which must be in place by 2018.

Department of Agriculture

A new top up payment for a separate category of Island Farmers has now been incorporated in the structure of the ANC Scheme. This top up will compensate for the particular challenges faced by Island Farmers.

Where a farmer is resident on an island an additional €150 per forage hectare will be payable, subject to the maximum of €250 per hectare up to 34 hectares. Where the farmer is not resident on the island the top up rate is €75 per forage hectare.

5. Organic Farming Scheme (€44m)

Supports for organic farming in Ireland are set to be boosted by 60% through the opening of the new Organic Farming Scheme.

Farmers enter into a contract for a minimum of five years, with standard rate payments of up to €220 per hectare a year during the conversion period and up to €170 per hectare when they have achieved full organic status.

Weanlings. Photo O'Gorman Photography.

Higher payment rates are available for organic horticultural and tillage farmers.

The Minister said that the closing date for applications will be May 29, 2015 and that decisions would be made at that stage on the number of applicants that will be accepted into the scheme.

Copies of the Organic Farming Scheme terms and conditions are available on the Department’s organics page

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