Grants worth almost €3 million issued for low-emission slurry spreading equipment

Almost €3 million has been paid out under the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS II) for low-emission slurry spreading (LESS) equipment.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine confirmed the statistic in its recent update on the TAMS II scheme.

A total of €2,874,133 has been paid out to 257 farmers as part of the LESS measure of the TAMS II scheme; this equates to an average payment of about €11,183/farmer.

Also Read: Department announces most popular items sought under TAMS II

Expenditure on LESS equipment is the third highest when compared to the six other measures covered in the scheme.

It is only topped by the Animal Welfare, Safety and Nutrient Storage Scheme – €4,207,501 to 558 farmers, an average payment of about €7,540/farmer – and the ‌Dairy Equipment Scheme – €11,249,902 to 887 farmers, an average of around €12,683/farmer.

The top five most popular investment items under the LESS measure are:
  1. Mobile Slurry Tank with Attachment – Slurry tanker;
  2. Mobile Slurry Tank with Attachment – Trailing shoe attachment with macerator;
  3. Mobile Slurry Tank with Attachment – Dribble bar spreader attachment;
  4. Retrofit dribble bar to existing tanker – Retrofit dribble bar;
  5. Umbilical System – Base pump, hose reel and fittings.

All of this equipment must be purchased new, as grant aid will not be paid for second-hand materials or equipment.

Dribble bar
A dribble-bar system fitted on a slurry tanker

Funding and financing

The LESS scheme is jointly funded by the European Union and the national exchequer. The funding for the scheme – which will run until the end of 2020 – is limited and all applications are subject to the operation of selection criteria, the department explained.

The financial allocation to the scheme, including previous versions thereof, shall not exceed €4 million subject to review by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, it added.

An umbilical spreading system in use. Image source: Conor Ryan

Under the terms and conditions of the scheme, grant-aid will only be paid on approved, completed and eligible expenditure and shall be paid at a rate of 40% up to the applicable maximum investment ceiling of €40,000/holding.

However, in the case of a joint application by two or more eligible partners under a registered partnership, the maximum eligible investment ceilings increases to €60,000.

The investment ceiling under this scheme is not subject to the overall TAMS II investment ceiling of €80,000/holding, the department outlined.

Those looking to qualify for grant-aid at a rate of 60% in respect of LESS investments must submit their applications under the Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme.

Multiple applications per tranche are permissible; however, the minimum amount of investment – which is eligible for approval under this scheme – is €5,000/application, the department added.