IFA National Rural Development Chair Michael Biggins has called on the Minster for Agriculture to clarify if dribble bars will be included on the list of investment items in the next Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS).
“Dribble bars have proved a popular investment item amongst farmers, in particular retrofit dribble bars to existing tankers with the value of claims paid exceeding €3m,” Michael Biggins said.
A dribble bar is a form of low emission slurry spreading (LESS) applicator, accurately distributing slurry onto the soil surface, resulting in minimal nutrient loss and lower ammonia emissions.
“Removing dribble bars from the list of eligible investment items would be a huge step backwards from an environmental point of view, forcing farmers into purchasing more expensive LESS equipment, which in turn would require higher horsepower tractors,” he said.
Many farmers are holding out on applying for a TAMS grant on LESS equipment in order to avail of the higher grant rate and revised costings for LESS equipment under the new TAMS scheme, set to open early next year.
“With the final tranche of TAMS II due to close on the Friday, 16th December, it is vital that farmers receive clarification on its inclusion as soon as possible,” Michael Biggins concluded.