The ICMSA has called for Dairy Equipment Scheme approvals to be confirmed ASAP so work on milking parlours can happen during ‘short window’ while cows are dry.

The Chairperson of the ICMSA’s Farm Services and Environment Committee, Patrick Rohan, has called on Minister Coveney to ensure the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine processes and approve all outstanding Dairy Equipment Scheme applications without delay and certainly before September 1, 2014.

He said that the final tranche closed on December 31, 2013, and it is unacceptable that seven months later farmers are still waiting for approval to start work.

“It’s hugely important that approval is granted for all valid applications as soon as possible to allow farmers to plan for work to be carried out over the winter months and ensuring that parlours are up and running again for the busy spring period. Dairy farmers have a very short ‘window’ while cows are dry to carry out work on milking parlours and it is crucial these applicants are informed without delay if they qualify for grant-aid or not.”

In addition, he urged any applicants that have received correspondence from the Department, requesting additional information regarding their applications, to ensure they respond without delay to ensure speedy approval so they can commence necessary works.