Farmers have been urged to move quickly to take full advantage of the new Farm Safety Scheme announced by Minister Coveney this week.

ICSA Connacht/Ulster vice-president John Flynn has said the window for action on this is quite narrow, as the closing date for receipt of applications is Friday, 9 January 2015 and all work must be completed and a payment claim lodged with the Department by Monday, 31 August 2015. “Farmers will have to act fast to plan any work that needs to be done and to get their applications in by the closing date.”

He said that ICSA welcomes the Minister’s constructive use of funds available under the old 2007-2013 Rural Development Programme. “Given the number of slurry -related accidents and deaths, it’s good to see that safety fencing and covers for external slurry and effluent stores are covered by the scheme, and from a drystock perspective, the inclusion of sheep and cattle handling facilities is very welcome. ICSA has already lobbied for the targeting of TAMS funding for such facilities.

“However, this is only a once-off scheme and while using this money to help farmers upgrade their safety facilities is very positive, the Minister must continue to focus on education and reaching out to older farmers who may not find it easy to access farm safety resources,” he said. Click here to see eligible items under the new scheme: 40% grant available to improve farm safety