Only 25% of tillage farmers in the Irish Examiner ICMSA farmer opinion poll said they were “satisfied” or “ very satisfied” with the targeted agricultural modernisation scheme (Tams).
When originally launched in the summer of 2015, the scheme offered no grants for mainstream tillage equipment.
Co Cork growers led a backlash, which resulted in the Department of Agriculture belatedly applying to the EU this year for wider availability of the grant aid for tillage farmers, for whom the grant aid would help make up for recent years of very low grain prices .
However, the go-ahead for this from Brussels is still awaited. Without it, there will not be any capital for farmers in the next couple of years to purchase anything without grant aid, said IFA tillage chairman Liam Dunne recently.
However, only 37% of livestock farmers and 40% of dairy farmers are satisfied with TAMS, which will make €395m available to farmers to be invested in infrastructure, facilities and equipment.
This relatively low satisfaction level can be attributed to delays in the scheme due to the department’s computer software system not being in place early enough to deal with applications.
Nevertheless, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed will be encouraged by the improving farmer attitude to the slew of rural development schemes, and the main direct payment scheme, introduced by his predecessor, Simon Coveney.
Compared to 2015, farmers in the poll expressed greater satisfaction with the Basic Payment Scheme, Greening, Glas, BDGP (Suckler Scheme), Knowledge Transfer Scheme, and the Tams On-Farm Investment Scheme.
However, the minister must acknowledge that there is majority satisfaction only with the Basic Payment Scheme. The others only get a 38% to 44% “satisfied” or “ very satisfied” rating.
Find more on the Irish Examiner ICMSA farming survey HERE
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