Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue is today (Thursday, October 12) advising farmers to start preparing for the opening of Tranche 2 of the Agri-Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES).

He confirmed that the next tranche will be opening for the submission of applications in early November. 

Following up on his Budget 2024 ACRES announcement Minister McConalogue commented: “I have increased the allocation for ACRES by €40 million bringing the total scheme allocation to €200 million – this is a substantial increase on the 2023 budget of €160 million.

“The provision of additional funding will allow us to deliver on the government’s commitment to have 50,000 farmers participating in ACRES, our flagship environmental programme under Ireland’s 2023-2027 [Common Agricultural Policy] CAP [Strategic] Plan.

“There was unprecedented demand for places in Tranche 1 and having ensured all 46,000 farmers could participate in that tranche, I am delighted to now open Tranche 2 to a further 4,000 farmers.” 

Applying for ACRES

Farmers who are interested in applying for Tranche 2 can now check on AgFood to see which ACRES approach – ACRES General or ACRES Co-operation – they are eligible for, as this will inform their decision to apply, and into which stream.

Noting that there will, again, be three steps in the ACRES application process, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) advised that while the ACRES system will be opening early next month, farmers and their ACRES advisors should begin some of the associated preparatory work at the earliest opportunity.

The Access Agreement facility for Tranche 2, which is the first step in the process, is now open.

This is the online facility whereby ACRES advisors may submit an Expression of Interest for Tranche 2 of ACRES.

It must be completed by advisors in respect of each of their clients who wish to apply for ACRES, in advance of preparation of the required Farm Sustainability Plan (FSP).

The department’s Generic Land Management System (GLAM) will then open in the next couple of weeks for the preparation of Farm Sustainability Plans.

Finally, the opening of the ACRES System for the formal submission of the applications will follow in early November.

This phased roll-out of the application process gives a longer period of time for ACRES advisors to do their initial review, visit farms and consult with clients before finally submitting an ACRES application.

In the event of a higher number of applications being received, DAFM has said that a ranking and selection process will be applied based on the extent of the environmental benefit to be delivered.

Advance payments for those currently in Tranche 1 of ACRES are being processed by the department with payments scheduled to commence towards the end of November. 


ACRES is the agri-environment climate measure under Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan for the period 2023-2027. 

The scheme is jointly funded by the European Union and the national exchequer.

There are two approaches within the scheme:

  1. ACRES General, available nationally (outside of the high priority geographical area as defined for the ACRES Co-operation approach below), which offers a range of measures (both prescription and result-based);
  2. ACRES Co-operation, available to farmers in defined high priority geographical areas. Map in Annex 1 of the ACRES Terms and Conditions for Tranche 1 shows the 8 ACRES Co-operation Project (‘CP’) zones. 

A farmer may only enter a contract for one of the approaches and may not participate in both ACRES General and ACRES Co-operation.

The list of proposed Non-Productive Investments (NPIs) which participants in the ACRES Co-operation approach may apply for was also recently published.