Latest figures from the Department of Agriculture show thousands of applications from dairy farmers for the new TAMS II farm building grants.

The new TAMS measure will make €395m available to Irish farmers for investing in on-farm infrastructure, facilities and equipment.

All TAMS schemes have been opened and the applications received under the first tranches of both the Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme and the Dairy Equipment Scheme are now being processed.

According to the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney, interest in TAMS to date has exceeded expectations and clearly many Irish farmers are looking once again at the benefits of investing in their enterprises and expanding production.

Under the Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme, a total of 520 applications have been received with over 200 of these applying for dairy investments while over 1,000 applications have been submitted for the Dairy Equipment Scheme.

The Minister has said that all applications received are being examined and approvals will commence when all of the required checks have been undertaken.

He said that this is a complex process and as all applications for TAMS II must be made under a tranche-based approach, we are required to evaluate, rank and assess all applications received together.

The Department of Agriculture recently gave a commitment to the IFA that TAMS II approvals for essential work will commence in early December.

Despite the TAMS II Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme closing to applications six weeks ago, the Department has yet to issue approvals to farmers.

The situation is leading to significant anger among farmers many only have a short period of time to carry out works.

IFA says it has been critical of the slow pace of getting TAMS II approvals out, particularly to dairy farmers who have only a short window during which to complete work before cows calve next spring.