According to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, min-till equipment is the most popular investment option made by growers under the current tillage Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS) scheme.

Olive Molloy from DAFM outlined this detail during a recent Teagasc Tillage Edge podcast.

Molloy commented: “Strip or direct drilling equipment has been most frequently specified on TAMS applications. Next up is GPS equipment, both fertiliser spreaders and sprayers.

“This technology can come installed with new equipment or it can be retrofitted. The option of autosteering is also available in this context.

“Cambridge rollers represent the next most popular investment option within tillage TAMS,” he added.

TAMS for active tillage farmers

According to Molloy, the scheme is very much focused on active tillage applicants. He explained:

“The applicants must be applying for the Basic Payment Scheme [BPS], and within their most recent application they must reference at least 15ha of eligible ground.

“This must include a mix of ley and tillage areas, most of which would be dedicated to cereal production.”

Molloy went on to point out that TAMS applications are submitted online.

“But given the fact that most of the inquiries relate to machinery investments, the application process is quite simple; we are talking no more than five minutes,” he further explained. 

“The first priority is for applicants to ensure that they have access to the Department of Agriculture’s online portal. Then it’s a case of clicking on to the tillage investment scheme section. The most important section here is that which relates to proposed investments.

“Applicants can then highlight the investments they are thinking of making and the scale involved.”

Equipment costs

The agfood site contains reference costs for different equipment items. These costs are exclusive of VAT.

“But applicants must include their proposed costs as part of their submission,” Molloy said.

“This does not have to be linked to a quotation from a supplier.”

Molloy likened the application process to an exercise in online bidding.

He explained: “The application process will be more complicated if something like a grain store is being requested. Under these circumstances detailed drawings and planning permissions will be required.

“In these cases, it is essential to have the all information beforehand. It could take 30 minutes to upload all the required information in these circumstances.”

“There is flexibility within the system to allow growers tweak their application. But this is not an option if the farmer wants to change main investments,” he added.

“For example, if a GPS fertiliser spreader is applied for initially, it will not be possible to change this to a sprayer at a later stage.”