Tillage farmers will have to wait until next year to apply for the TAMS scheme, according to the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed.

“They [tillage farmers] also asked for a Targeted Agricultural Modernisation scheme for the tillage sector and such a scheme will be announced in January 2017,” he said.

Back in April, the Minister said the scheme was set to open before the end of this year, however it now appears that tillage farmers will have to wait further to apply for funding under the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme.

Responding to a question from the Fianna Fail Spokesperson on Agriculture Charlie McConalogue, Minister Creed said he appreciates the difficulties being faced by the tillage sector.

“I do not believe the response to the myriad of issues being faced in the sector has been bad.

“While these are very challenging times for the tillage sector, I emphasise that we have implemented some measures,” he said.

One such measure being the introduction of a low-cost loan scheme which is expected to open for applications in early 2017.

Along with the introduction of the low-cost loan scheme, the Minister added that tillage farmers also asked to be included in the Knowledge Transfer Groups and this happened.

When the TAMS scheme opens to tillage farmers, it is understood that it will include grant aid for improved grain storage facilities, ventilation and improved drying equipment for grain.

The scheme will likely fall under the overall TAMS II farm building scheme, which operates under a tranche system with approximately three-month tranches opening regularly under each individual sector and will continue to invite applications until 2020.

Under the scheme, farmers will be able to avail of grant aid of 40% with eligible young farmers entitled to grant aid of 60% for investments.

Under TAMS II the minimum approval per application under all Schemes is €2,000.