More than 70,000 farmers have applied for the €56 million Fodder Support Scheme before the closing date of August 27, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue, has confirmed.

The minister introduced the Fodder Support Scheme as part of package of measures in recent months to provide support to Irish farmers arising from the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

Minister McConalogue stated: “I am really pleased to see such a high uptake of the Fodder Support Scheme, with over 537,000ha being entered in the scheme and this will make a big contribution towards the fodder required in the country for the coming winter.

“The government provided €56 million for the Fodder Support Scheme, with a payment rate of up to €100/ha.

“The amount of support is capped at 10ha/farmer; this will result in a maximum payment of €1,000 under the scheme”.

Minister McConalogue has urged all participants to ensure they read the ‘Terms and Conditions’ of the scheme, in particular that the areas declared under the scheme must be cut and conserved by next Monday, September 5.

After that date, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine will be undertaking a range of administrative and compliance checks including on-farm inspections.

“I encourage participants who may receive correspondence from my department in relation to the scheme, to respond without delay. Payments under the scheme are scheduled to commence later in 2022,” Minister McConalogue added.

Fodder Support Scheme

The Fodder Support Scheme (FSS) aims to incentivise farmers, in particular drystock farmers, to grow more fodder (silage and/or hay) for the coming winter, to ensure Ireland does not have any animal welfare issue over winter and next spring.

The maximum area eligible for payment under the scheme is 10ha with a potential maximum payment of €1,000.

There were 69,403 applications for the Fodder Support Scheme received by midnight on August 2. An additional 680 late applications were received by the department before midnight on August 27.  

The preliminary figure for the total payable area declared under the FSS is 537,568ha. As with all such schemes, the department has said that this figure may change following administrative checks and inspections.

Payments will commence in late November 2022 once all administrative, compliance and on-the-spot inspections have been undertaken.