The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine has today (Monday, May 9) officially launched a scheme supporting the growth of more protein and cereal mix crops.

A budget of €1.2 million will be made available for the Protein Aid Scheme, supported by both EU and national funding, and the new Protein/Cereal Mix Crop Scheme.

A rate of €300/ha will be paid to farmers for beans, peas and lupins under the Protein Aid Scheme. The Protein/Cereal Mix Crop Scheme will be paid at a rate of €150/ha.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) noted that eligible protein crop seed must account for at least half of the protein/cereal mix crop seed mix.

“Eligible crops for the protein element of the seed mix are beans, peas and lupins, while eligible cereals are wheat, oats, barley, rye and triticale”, DAFM stated.

“Supporting domestic production of protein crops will reduce Ireland’s reliance on imported feed materials.

“These payments reflect a contribution towards the increase in the cost of growing crops in 2022,” Minister Charlie McConalogue stated.

tillage crops

Meanwhile, the minister also announced updates to the conditions associated with the Tillage Incentive Scheme today.

The Tillage Incentive Scheme forms part of a €12 million package approved by Cabinet in March, which aims to support the production of more native crops, and crops with a low demand for chemical fertiliser.

“The scheme terms and conditions have now been updated to clarify the treatment of protein crops, to address queries relating to land not declared in 2021 and to provide specific references to the Agricultural Appeals Office and the EU Temporary Crisis Framework,” McConalogue said.

The department said that to qualify for the scheme there must be an increase in the total tillage crops grown on a land holding in 2022 compared to 2021.

DAFM may require evidence from farmers that land being declared in 2022, which was not on a Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) application in 2021, was not in crop production last year.

Farmers will be able to send appeals to the Agricultural Appeals Office.

The department also confirmed that details of the Tillage Incentive Scheme have been sent to the EU Commission as part of the EU Temporary Crisis Framework. This means that payments will not exceed €35,000 per undertaking.

Farmers who want to apply for the Tillage Incentive Scheme, Protein Aid and Protein/Cereal Mix Crop Scheme should declare the eligible crops on their 2022 BPS application on by the closing date of May 16, 2022.

The department will contact farmers who are declared eligible for the scheme in June.

DAFM advised farmers that crops declared on their 2022 BPS application will be the basis for entry into these schemes and for any future payments under the schemes.