Sheep fencing will now be eligible for grant aid under the TAMS II scheme, the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney confirmed following the announcement Budget today.

The Minister had come under sustained pressure from farm organisations over the initial exclusion of sheep fencing from the TAMS II grant schemes.

However, Budget 2016 has seen a €35.8m allocation for TAMS II which will also provide funding for the Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme which will be at the higher grant rate of 60%.

Also benefitting from the scheme will be Dairy equipment, Organic Capital Investments, Pig and Poultry and as already stated Sheep fencing. It will also provide funding for the recently opened Animal Welfare, Safety and Nutrient Storage Scheme and the Low Emission Slurry Spreading Scheme (LESS).

Minister Coveney said the funding of these very important Schemes will encourage the sustainable development of Irish agriculture by providing a range of new investment opportunities to Irish farmers.

Further details of what of what will exactly be covered under the sheep fencing element has yet to be confirmed by the Department.

Sheep handling equipment is already among the items eligible for grant aid under the new TAMS II farm investment schemes.

Under the scheme, farmers will be able to avail of grant aid of 40% with eligible young farmers entitled to grant aid of 60% for the equipment.

The move to allow sheep fencing as an eligible item for the grant aid has been generally welcomed by both the IFA and the ICSA.