The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) is reminding farmers in tranche 1 of the Agri-Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES) about the necessary requirements for rescoring land.

As part of this year’s Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS) Scheme application, farmers or their advisors were offered the option to have lands on which there are results based actions under ACRES that were scored in 2023, rescored in 2024.

If a farmer wished to avail of this option for Year 2, they must tick the relevant box on their BISS application to confirm to the department that they want to rescore parcels with results based actions.

The closing date for BISS applications to be submitted to the department fell yesterday (Wednesday, May 15).

ACRES

Once a decision had been made on this issue and the relevant box ticked, the only way that an
advisor or their client can now change their mind (in relation to the option to rescore or not) is
to note this in an amended BISS application by May 31, 2024.

In a circular issued to advisors today (Thursday, May 16), the department noted that an email to its ACRES section to indicate a change of mind will not suffice.

“The change of mind has to be indicated by a BISS amendment only,” DAFM said.

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The scoring of lands, other than commonage, on which results based actions are located was scheduled to be done in years 1, 3 and 5 of the ACRES contract, with all relevant lands under tranche 1 contracts accordingly scored in 2023.

To help alleviate the workload for ACRES advisors during the busy summer period, the department decided to allow farmers to choose to have all of their non-commonage lands rescored in years 2 and 4 or in years 3 and 5.

In the event that a farmer in ACRES tranche 1 decides to rescore this year, it is mandatory that all parcels are scored by their advisor in year 2.

All scorecards must then be submitted to the department by the deadline of August 31, 2024.

“If all scorecards are not submitted by the set deadline, it may result in non-payment, penalties and recoupment of monies already paid.

“The scorecards submitted in year 2 will then inform the year 2 claim for payment,” the department said.

If a participant chooses not to rescore in year 2, they must tick the “No, don’t rescore”
option through their BISS application.