Department begins inspection of fodder crops

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has begun inspecting crops planted under the fodder production incentive measure and payments are to commence before the end of the year.

Payments for brassica crops sown under the scheme are to commence by the end of the year, while payments for temporary grass crops are to commence in spring 2019.

According to the department, a 5% sample of applications has been selected for inspection. Notified checks will be carried out on these farms. Compliance with the measures’ terms and conditions will be inspected and seed and fertiliser receipts may also be checked.

1,701 applications were lodged under the Fodder Production Incentive Measure for Tillage Farmers. This amounted to a total area of 19,400ha – 13,400ha of brassica crops and 6,000ha of short-term grasses.

Expenditure under the scheme is expected to be €2.3 million. This is provided that all of the hectares applied for are claimed.

Conditions of payment

This incentive will be paid where the crops were planted between August 3 and September 15. The crops must have remained in place for eight weeks prior to grazing or harvesting.

In order for the incentive to be paid, the crops must be grazed or harvested over the winter period. Grass crops must be maintained or utilised and kept in-situ until February 1, 2019.

The minimum area that farmers could plant under the scheme was 3ha, while the maximum area for payment was 50ha.

Under the incentive, €155/ha will be paid to farmers who planted fast-growing grasses and €100/ha will be paid to farmers who have sown brassica crops and met the incentives requirements.