Guidelines issued relating to TAMS tillage updates

Clarifications and guidelines have been announced in relation to the updated tillage TAMS scheme, with issues over the scheme clarified and resolved, according to the IFA.

The alterations have come about following extensive talks between the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and a delegation from the IFA Grain Committee led by Chairman Liam Dunne.

Dunne said that the TAMS scheme is very important for tillage farmers but careful planning needs to be done by applicants in order to secure the best long-term results for their farms.

Advice from the department

According to the IFA statement that was released, the Department of Agriculture has issued guidance on the changes that have been made.

Firstly, there is a reminder that applications should not be rushed into, as options should be fully researched prior to submission. The TAMS scheme will continue through until the end of 2020, with the next tranche of the scheme opening as soon as Tranche 1 closes at the end of June.

Applicants are advised to use a professional service to deal with the application for more long-term efficiency.

Applications should be approved within a month of submission, according to the department. Purchases must not happen until approval is received and all purchases must be completed before the grant can be paid. Both parties must be eligible in the case of a formal partnership.

Under the ‘Young Farmer’ aspect of the scheme, where funding is increased to 60%, relevant applicants should be aware that the first five years of eligibility as a Young Farmer begin on the date the herd number was activated in his/her name.

If education qualifications are not met yet, the first 40% of the grant will be paid. However, the additional 20% will only be paid after qualification.

A trade-in is considered part of the purchase price in the financial transaction, but it must be considered on a ‘like for like’ basis. A tax clearance certification ETC number must be available.

A registered contractor must carry out contracting work over €650. An applicant’s own work is acceptable, provided he/she is qualified to carry out any ‘CE’ work (e.g. welding, electrical installation).

For tractors bought with factory-fitted GPS, the equipment can be grant-aided if it is invoiced separately by the dealer.

GPS equipment does not have to have auto-steer attached to qualify.

It is important to be careful with time limits for the scheme. While for many items there is a year to complete the purchase, some only have a six-month limit (e.g. GPS, rollers, spreaders).

Modifications and clarifications to the scheme

Changes to specifications on the size of the end sections on sprayers will also be made. Clearance under discs and drills is currently being changed from 700mm to 450mm.

Steel or cast steel rings for ring rollers, as well as paddles, will qualify. Packomat-type packers for ploughs, as well as fertiliser spreaders with variable-rate technology, will both be eligible.

The department has agreed to review the possibility of including low ground pressure tyres and temporary holding areas for green grain.

The department also reminds farmers that funding for organic fertiliser storage on ‘purely’ tillage farms is available. Additionally, rain-water harvesting includes everything such as gutters, filters, tanks, pumps, header tanks and/or a bowser.

Finally, the department has clarified that there is no connection between the size of the item (for grant aid) and the amount of land (over 15ha) in the applicant’s application.