Rural Development Reports

Rural Development Council Report 2024

  1. Scheme Updates 


  • Approx. 46,600 farmers applied for ACRES. 
  • Target payment date always end-November, however Dec 6th, DAFM announced c.27,800 (c.60%) will not receive payment until Feb ‘24 at the earliest 
  • IFA called on Minister McConalogue to intervene and do whatever is needed to ensure all ACRES Co-Operation (CP) farmers receive their payment before Christmas.  
  • 85% advance ACRES General payments issued from Dec 18th for ‘cleared’ cases.  
  • Estimated c.18k farmers paid, with an average payment c.€4.5k 
  • Advance core ACRES Co-Operation payments to commence from end Feb 2024 
  • Applications for Non-Productive Investments closed Dec 6th – c.4.5k applied for 44,000 different investment items 
No. Tranche 1 applications % approved by Jan 26th  Approval timeline 
Solar Scheme 751 35%  Dec ’23 
Dairy Investment Scheme 235 28% Jan ’24 
Pig & Poultry 49 67% Jan ’24 
Farm Safety 2050 52% Jan ’24 
LESS 551 89% Jan ’24 
Tillage Investment Scheme 445 67% Feb ’24 
Animal Welfare, Nutrient Management Storage 2494 25% Feb ‘24 
Organics – CIS 928 53% Mar ’24 
Women Farmer – CIS 259 4% Mar ’24 
Young Farmer – CIS 441 33% Mar ’24 
 Total 8,203 (c.50% mobile) 43%  
  • ACRES Training granted a 3mth extension until end of March to complete. C.40k now trained 
  • Balancing payment for both ACRES approaches due end May 2024 
  • Tranche 2 closed for applications Dec 13th. Approx 9,200 farmers applied for c.4,000 places if 50,000 limit maintained. 70: 30 split across scheme applications – ACRES General: ACRES Co-Operation 
  • IFA insist that all farmers interested in getting into ACRES should be accommodated. All farmers interested in an agri-environment scheme must be accommodated. The Minister must exert his influence his influence within Government to find the necessary funding to ensure this happens. 


  • TAMS was a non-event in 2023 – delayed approvals unacceptable 
  • 8,241 Tranche 1 applications received 
  • Close on half of TAMS Tranche 1 applications have now been approved, with payment claims for ‘mobile’ investments and those within seven of the ten TAMS scheme now open.  
  • Claims for investments within the Animal Welfare; Nutrient Management Scheme; the Young Farmer; and Women Capital Investment scheme will open in mid-February.   
  • DAFM expect approval rates to slow as assessments move to fixed type investments.  
  • Planning queries, poor quality drawings were main reasons for application queries / rejections. Key farmers engage with DAFM on queries raised. Option to extend timelines if required.  
  • The Department also confirmed that there were 9,110 applications in Tranche 2.100% approvals granted. Approvals for Tranche 2 applications due to commence in May 2024. Priority application facility available – contact local DAFM office and make case for prioritisation. Written application to include Herd /Application number; scheme applied under & reasons for prioritisation.  
  • Tranche 3 closing on April 12th. 
  1. Activity since last National Council  
  • The latest meeting of the IFA Rural Development Committee took place on 5th January 2024 in the Irish Farm Centre. 
  • John Curran (Meath) was elected as the new Chairman of the Committee, succeeding Michael Biggins. 
  • IFA met with DAFM to discuss ongoing issues with TAMS & ACRES schemes Jan 26th. Communication is ongoing.  
  • Negotiations on the Farmers Charter of Rights are ongoing. Next meeting Feb 8th. IFA made the latest submission in December. Some of the proposed amendments listed below:  
  • Scope of Charter to include EIP’s; National Exchequer schemes and/or those operated by other Gov Depts.  
  • Prior to the design and roll-out of new / individual schemes, the Department will fully assess and review the capabilities of its Information Technology infrastructure so as to avoid subsequent issues and/or processing delays.  
  • Where, during administration of individual schemes, technical / processing issues are identified with the Departments I.T infrastructure which may inhibit the achievement of payment deadlines, the Department will commit to immediately notifying the farmer and Farm Bodies, with alternative means of administration to meet payment deadlines agreed under the Departments Farmers Charter of Rights 2023-2027 undertaken.  
  • On-farm inspections: Maximum period allowed and not less than 2 days 
  • Imperative full protection of farmer data is provided 
  • Derogation to implementation of GAEC 2 (Protection of Peatlands & Wetlands) extended to 2025.  
  • IFA attended a workshop on the redesign of the Agfood system  
  • Attended a Teagasc Focus Group on the CAP Strategic Plan  
  • Made Submissions in relation to DAFM proposed 2nd amendments to the current CSP. Overall, most proposed amendments are beneficial (TAMS grant rates; 70% slurry storage; 3mth ACRES education extension etc). Exception being proposed cut in minimum Eco-Scheme payment to €60/ha (from €66/ha) as precautionary measure to reduce where significant uplift in application / eligible area transpires.   
  1. Any EU/COPA developments 
  • IFA have attended a number of Copa-Cogeca Workshops on the future CAP, the latest in relation to Agricultural Support Policies in OECD Countries. Discussion from panellists centred on continued trajectory as per current CAP – increased environmental focus (very little reference to economic / social dimensions); targeted direct payments for low-income farmers; importance of subsidiarity and local-led measures; with budgetary & market implications of increased accession also referenced.   
  • Participated in Commission technical workshops in relation to food security and sustainability 
  1. Upcoming issues 
  • Meeting of the Farmers Charter of Rights on 7th February 
  • Copa-Cogeca Workshops on the Future CAP regarding EU Enlargement and Land Access 
  • Joint meeting of the CDG on CAP and Environment  
  • Ongoing communication with DAFM on issues relating to relevant schemes 
  • Preparation of IFA EU/Local Government Election Manifesto  

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