Advance payments are set to be issued to farmers on Tuesday, October 31, for those have qualified for an eco-scheme payment.

The payment rate depends on uptake but according to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), it is likely to be in the region of €60 – €65 per/ha with a total financial allocation of €297 million per annum.

It was reported in May that the department received 121,664 applications from farmers seeking to join the new eco-scheme.

Balancing payments are expected to be issued in December 2023 for the eco-scheme, which replaced many elements of the previous Greening Scheme.


The eco-scheme was introduced this year as part of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Strategic Plan 2023-2027, with an aim to reward farmers, from all farming sectors and from different levels of intensity, for undertaking actions that are beneficial to the climate, environment, water quality and biodiversity.

The eco-scheme has 8 agricultural practices to choose from, with 3 of these practices having an enhanced option. A farmer must deliver two practices (or one enhanced option) to qualify for a payment.

The eco-scheme options:

  1. Space for nature;
  2. Extensive livestock production;
  3. Limiting chemical nitrogen usage;
  4. Planting of native trees/hedgerows;
  5. Use of a GPS controlled fertiliser
  6. Soil sampling and appropriate liming;
  7. Planting of a break crop;
  8. Planting of a multi-species sward.

The eco-scheme payment follows the advance payment for the Basic Income Support Scheme (BISS) and Complementary Redistributive Income Support for Sustainability (CRISS) that was issued to farmers on October 24.

Balancing payments for the three schemes mentioned above are then expected to be issued in December 2023, which will be in line with the timeline from previous years.

Many farmers had accidentally chosen to not participate earlier this year by ticking a particular box during the application process on the online BISS application portal.

The department had previously said the farmers that had selected the opt-out option for the eco-scheme would be contacted to see if a mistake had been made.