The 2023 Fodder Support Scheme, which will be worth €30 million, has been announced by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) today (November 2).

The scheme, which is a continuation of the 2022 Fodder Support Scheme, will offer a payment rate of up to €100/ha with a maximum eligible area of 10ha.

However, only those who successfully applied to the initial version of the measure will be eligible to avail of the scheme in 2023.

The announcement of the measure comes following a commitment made by the department in Budget 2023 back in October. Announcing the scheme, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue said:

“Supporting our family farms through this continued period of uncertainty remains a key priority of mine and the government as a whole.

“There continues to be price pressure for agricultural input costs, in particular for chemical fertiliser and the impact that will have on the quantity of fodder produced and conserved next year.”

The minister stated that the 2022 Fodder Support Scheme had more than 71,000 applicants, each of whom are due to receive an average payment of €735.

Although the rate has been announced as €100/ha, with a maximum eligible area of 10ha. Minister McConalogue added that this may be subject to change.

“I will continue to monitor the situation around the price of agricultural inputs into 2023 and, in the event that they remain high, I will be seeking additional funding for this scheme,” he said.

He also stated that the department expects to make advanced payments under the scheme before the end of this year, while balancing payments will be made in quarter four of 2023.

The Fodder Support Scheme aims to incentivise farmers, particularly those in the drystock sector, to grow more silage and/or hay during the year, to prevent shortages and protect animal welfare next year.

Applications for the scheme will remain open until December 5, and can be completed on the DAFM’s website.

“I urge all of the 71,000 eligible farmers for this scheme to apply in good time and to ensure they read the terms and conditions, which are available on my department’s website.

“My department [expects] to begin issuing advance payments under this scheme before the end of December 2022,” the minister concluded.