Over €11.5 million paid out to farmers under LESS

Over €11.5 million has been paid out in grant-aid from the Low Emission Slurry Spreading (LESS) Equipment Scheme under TAMS II.

The next tranche of the scheme opens for applications on Saturday, April 6.

The scheme was established in 2015 to assist farmers in purchasing new equipment – with distinct environmental advantages – for the spreading of slurry.

According to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine over 2,643 applications have been made since the scheme’s inception four years ago.

It also confirmed that 978 applicants have been paid €11.7 million in grant-aid during that time and, that, there are no proposed changes to the scheme once applications open next week.

LESS is more

A spokesperson for the department said LESS affords farmers the opportunity to purchase new tankers fitted with a dribble bar / slurry spike spreader; a shallow injection spreader; and a trailing shoe spreader.

It also comprises the umbilical slurry spreading system.

The spokesperson continued: “This includes a base pump, a hose reel, a maximum of 500m of a layflat hose and all fittings with a dribble bar spreader, a shallow injection spreader and a trailing shoe spreader.”

According to the department, the scheme also allows for the retrofitting of an existing tanker with a dribble bar / slurry spike spreader and a hydraulic motor to substitute the PTO shaft which is permanently fixed to the machine.

Investment and grant-aid

Meanwhile, there is a maximum investment ceiling of €40,000 or €60,000 for qualifying partnerships.

LESS is not subject to the TAMS II €80,000 super-ceiling.

The spokesperson continued: “Grant-rate of 40% is available under the scheme, but in order for young farmers to qualify for grant-aid at 60% applications in respect of LESS, investments must be submitted under the Young Farmers’ Capital Investment Scheme.”

Spreading slurry safely

Recently, the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) outlined to AgriLand the guidelines that should be followed when spreading slurry.

It advised to agitate on windy days; remove all livestock and control pets; open all doors and control access; agitate or ventilate and stay away for 30 minutes; work upwind at all times; do not enter tanks – even when empty; keep tank openings secure at all times; and avoid agitating alone – where possible.