A number of issues relating to the new tillage TAMS scheme were clarified and altered during a recent meeting between the Department of Agriculture and a delegation from the IFA Grain Committee led by Chairman, Liam Dunne.
Liam Dunne said TAMS is a very important scheme for tillage farmers, but applicants should plan carefully to ensure the best long term results for their farm enterprise.
The Department of Agriculture is anxious to point out that farmers should not rush into making applications without fully exploring the items of interest.
The TAMS Scheme will run until the end of 2020.
In most instances, applicants are advised to use a professional service to handle the application as this can be more efficient in the long term.
The Department of Agriculture expects applications will be approved within a month of application. As with all TAMS schemes, purchases must wait until after approval and all purchases must be completed before the grant will be paid. In a formal partnership, both parties must be eligible.
For those applying for the increased 60% rate of funding available to ‘Young Farmers’, the first five years of eligibility as a Young Farmer commences on the date the herd number was activated under his/her name. If education qualifications are not yet achieved, the first 40% of the grant will be paid and the additional 20% after qualification.
In the financial transaction, a ‘trade in’ is considered part of the purchase price, but it must be ‘like for like’. A tax clearance certification, ETC No. must be available.
Contractor work over €650 must be carried out by a registered contractor. An applicant’s own work is acceptable, provided he/she is qualified to carry out any ‘CE’ work, for example welding, electrical installation.
In the event of a tractor purchased with factory fitted GPS, that equipment can be grant aided, but must be invoiced separately by the dealer. If a ‘trade in’ is used, provided the value of the ‘trade in’ is greater than the GPS value and is ‘finance’ free, it is deemed as payment for the GPS. Otherwise a separate arrangement must be made.
GPS equipment does not need to have autosteer attached to qualify.
Purchase time limits
While many items have a year to complete purchase, there are some with only six months, for example GPS, min till, rollers, spreaders, wheel changers and grain treatment.
Applicants for storage of organic fertilisers, slurry, chicken litter, etc, will find this application under ‘Animal Welfare’. It is not necessary for the applicant to have any animals.
There are a number of smaller items that can be purchased ‘stand-alone’, i.e. while they can be part of a large application, they can be purchased and grant aided ‘stand-alone’. These include grain pedestals, grain dividers, grain crimpers and of course GPS. However, a water bowser is not available without a rainwater harvesting equipment application.
Changes to qualification of items
Changes to the regulations on the size of the end sections on sprayers will also be made. Clearance under discs and drills is being changed from 700mm to 450mm. Steel or cast steel rings for ring rollers will qualify as will paddles. Packomat Packers for ploughs will qualify as will fertiliser spreaders with variable rate technology.
Department officials have agreed to re-examine the possibility of including low ground pressure tyres and temporary holding areas for green grain.
Farmers are reminded that organic fertiliser storage on purely tillage farms is available and that rain water harvesting includes everything from the gutters to tanks, filters, pumps, header tanks and/or a bowser.
There is no connection between the amount of land over 15ha in the applicant’s Direct Payment Application and the size of the item for grant aid.