Applications received to date for grant-aid for low-emission slurry spreading equipment are above expectations, according to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed.

He recently revealed, in response to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fail’s Charlie McConalogue, that over 1,000 applications have been received under the TAMS II Low-Emission Slurry Spreading Equipment Scheme.

“On foot of farmer demand to improve the utilisation of slurry as a fertiliser, my department is assisting farmers under TAMS II in the purchase of low-emission slurry spreading equipment.

“To date 539 applications have been received for trailing shoe [systems], 394 applications for the dribble bar and 14 applications for shallow injection [equipment].

Overall, across all low-emissions technologies, [more than] 1,058 applications have been received – which is above expectations.

“In addition, more than 4,752 farmers have applied under the Green, Low-Carbon, Agri-Environment Scheme (GLAS) to apply slurry using low-emission equipment.

“This is being driven by farmers themselves wanting to maximise the value of the slurry on their own farms, rather than as a regulatory requirement,” Minister Creed said.

While highlighting the fact that the Association of Farm and Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) has backed the use of low-emission slurry spreading equipment, Minister Creed added that he fully understands that this technology is not suitable for all farms.

Grant funding

Under TAMS II, farmers can apply for grant funding to purchase slurry tankers or umbilical systems equipped with either a trailing shoe, dribble bar or shallow injection attachment.

Grant-aid will not be paid for second-hand materials or equipment. Alternatively, farmers can apply to retrofit an existing tanker with a dribble bar system.

Multiple applications per tranche are permissible; the minimum amount of investment, which is eligible for approval under this scheme, is €5,000 per application, according to the department.

Meanwhile, grant-aid will only be paid on approved, completed and eligible expenditure, and shall be paid at a rate of 40% up to a maximum ceiling of €40,000 per holding, the department added.

In the case of a joint application by two or more eligible partners under a registered partnership, the maximum, eligible investment ceiling shall be increased to €60,000.

Eligible young farmers can avail of grant-aid of 60% of the applicable, maximum investment ceiling.