Fodder incentive measure facing underspend

At least €480,000 will go unspent under the Fodder Production Incentive Measure launched at the beginning of August.

A total of 1,701 applications were made under the Fodder Production Incentive Measure. This totals approximately 19,400ha.

Of these hectares, approximately 6,000ha are sown to grass crops and 13,400ha have been sown to brassica crops.

Under the incentive, €155/ha will be paid to farmers who planted fast-growing grasses and €100/ha will be paid to farmers who have sown brassica crops.

Conditions of payment

This incentive will be paid where the crops were planted between August 3 and September 15. The crops must have remained in place for eight weeks prior to grazing or harvesting.

In order for the incentive to be paid, the crops must be grazed or harvested over the winter period. Grass crops must be maintained or utilised and kept in-situ until February 1, 2019.

Underspend

Doing the calculations, if the full 1,701 applications are approved – for the whole 19,400ha – there looks to be an underspend in the incentive.

€1.34 million could be paid out on brassica crops. This is provided all 13,400ha are utilised within the rules.

€930,000 may be paid on grass crops, once again, provided these crops are grazed or harvested and kept in-situ until February 1.

Both of those amounts together total €2.27 million. The total pot available under the scheme is €2.75 million. That means at least €480,000 will be left unspent.

If these crops are not used for some reason – ground may be too wet or farmers may decide to use as a cover crop, for example, then there is set to be a further underspend in the budget.

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