TAMS II grants uproar among tillage farmers

The Department of Agriculture has confirmed that only dairy equipment; organic farming; low emission slurry spreading; animal welfare, safety and nutrient storage; and pig and poultry, are in the TAMS II targeted modernisation scheme.

Tillage farmers have reacted vociferously to the lack of grants for grain storage or drying.

According to IFA, other important areas not included are sheep fencing, underpasses, automatic scrapers, mobile cattle crushes, and elements of the farm safety scheme.

The Department of Agriculture carried out SWOT analysis and needs assessment of where farm modernisation grant aid from the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 should go.

Tillage farmers can apply for 40% grants, or 60% if they qualify for the Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme — but only for the specified categories of equipment or types of farming.

And the Organic Farming Scheme includes for the first time a special rate of aid for conversion or partial conversion of tillage farms, and the Organic Capital Investment Scheme will include investment items of specific interest to tillage farmers.

IFA Grain Chairman Liam Dunne has pointed out that the combined value of tillage and horticulture is over €700m, and it is vital that targeted funding is made available to arable crop farmers for investment in critical infrastructure and technology.

The total TAMS II allocation for on-farm investment, including the Young Farmer Investment scheme, is €395m over the seven-year course of the Rural Development Programme.

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney and Minister of State Tom Hayes recently opened the Young Farmer scheme, and said it is funded with an indicative allocation of €120m.

Eligible young farmers can claim a 60% of investment costs grant; the standard rate of 40% will apply for other farmers. Young farmers must be aged under 40 when applying and have been set up in farming within the previous five years. They can avail of grant-aid for new dairy buildings.

An online system will open for applications from today, until August 28, 2015. Other TAMS Schemes, including the new Dairy Equipment Scheme, are prioritised for early opening.


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