Qualifying farmers will be able to draw down 60% grant aid on slurry tankers and trailing shoes in the ‘new’ Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS), which will be known as the On-Farm Capital Investment Scheme (OFCIS).

Agriland understands that the 60% grant aid rate will apply to all farmers who are eligible to draw down payment under the scheme, regardless of age bracket.

Under TAMS II, young farmers under the age of 35 could draw down the 60% rate, however those aged 36 and older were only eligible to draw down 40% of costs.

Sources have also indicated that dribble bars will not be included in the list of items that are available under the scheme, which is due to open imminently.

The uptake of nitrogen (N) by soil is higher when fertiliser is spread with a trailing shoe as opposed to a dribble bar, however numerous farm organisations have called for their inclusion in the scheme.

The costings of included items are currently being revised ahead of the opening of the OFCIS, Jack Nolan of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) confirmed during a recent webinar.

In relation to investment ceilings under the scheme, organic farmers will be eligible for a grant aid rate of 60% up to a limit of €90,000.

Meanwhile, the investment ceiling for pig farmers is set to be increased to €500,000, according to Minister of State at the DAFM Martin Heydon.

He stated during a national meeting of pig farmer members of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), that the department is proposing to more than double the current ceiling of €200,000.

In his speech, Minister Heydon, who is the chairperson of the Pig Roundtable, said that the increased ceiling would help pig farmers plan for the future when the current challenges in the sector are resolved.