Rural Development Reports

Rural Development Council Report April 2021


  • 3,250 farmers applied for TAMS in Tranche 20, which closed on January 15th.  In addition, approximately 1400 applicants were carried forward from the previous tranche to give an overall application of approximately 4,650 farmers. 70% of applications in tranche 20 are approved / to be approved and the remaining the remaining 30% will be carried forward to tranche 21.
  • Tranche 21 is open for applications, and is due to closes April 16th 2021 with the next tranche opening on 17 April 2021. Further tranches in 2021 will open on 23 July 2021 and 5 November 2021.
  • IFA is insisting that there must be no delay in approvals for tranche 21 as to date the process is too slow.
  • So far in TAMS 38,240 approvals for TAMS have been issued. 
  • Payments of €266m have been paid out to 19,684 farmers to date. A further 1,000 farmers have lodged payment claims.
  • When the carryover allocation from TAMS 1 is taken into account, €278m has been spent out of the 2014 – 2020 RDP allocation of €395m.
  • In Budget 2021 €80m was secured for TAMS.
  • For farmers farming over 170KgsN/ha and exporting slurry to remain nitrates compliant, spreading slurry using LESS equipment is mandatory from April 15th 2021. Under CAP rules mandatory measures cannot be funded, a one-year grace period has been secured therefore these farmers will be eligible to receive TAMS equipment until April 2022. 
  • At a recent Charter of Rights meeting, IFA also raised the necessity to increase the standard costings as they have not been reviewed for over 2 years. DAFM have given a commitment to carry out this review without delay. 
  • The addition of investments for calf welfare. This means the investments previously available under the Calf Investment Scheme will be included under TAMS now
  • GPS spreaders to be now available for all categories of applicants. Previously these were only available to tillage applicants under the scheme;

2020 BPS/ANC Schemes

  • The 70% advance BPS payment was made on the 16th October. 122,672 farmers have been paid..
  • ANC payments commenced on 16th September last. 98,307 farmers have been paid to date, amounting to €245.68m.
  • IFA has got a commitment that any file that is out for inspection will not hold up payment for BPS or ANC.
  • BPS and ANC 2021 is open for application and closes on May 17th.


  • Advance GLAS payments commenced on the first week in November which was two weeks ahead of schedule. 
  • 47,568 farmers have been paid the advance to date amounting to €169.7m
  • The remaining 15% will be paid in May 2021.
  • IFA raised the issue of where land leases are due to expire and a renewal of the lease is not possible, that flexibility must be given to farmers to move options to another parcel.  
  • For farmers farming over 170KgsN/ha and exporting slurry to remain nitrates compliant spreading slurry using LESS is mandatory from April 15th 2021. Under CAP rules mandatory measures cannot be funded therefore these farmers who participate in the GLAS Low Emission Slurry Spreading (LESS) action will not be paid for this action after April 15th 2021.

CAP Transition

The Proposed 10th Amendment to the RDP for the years 2021 and 2022 has been submitted by DAFM to the EU Commission for approval.

The amendment is to take account of the transitional arrangements for the RDP for 2021 and 2022 and incorporate the EU Recovery Instrument (EURI) funding allocation for Ireland of almost €190m.  

 The amendment will:

  • programme the measures for the transitional funding and the European Recovery Instrument Funding for 2021 and 2022
  • introduce changes to the existing measures to take account of the 2 year transition period 
  • add in new sub-measures support to trial and pilot possible measures for the CAP Strategic Plan
  • support the development of new baseline data for soils and habitat, and test the scalability of results based agri-environment actions 
  • other minor updates necessary due to the extended period of the programme
  • adjust the financial and indicator plans

Proposed Results based Pilot Scheme (REPS)

The Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConologue told the Sligo IFA AGM that the Pilot Scheme would be paid on a farmer’s first 10 hectares and would have an average payment of €4,700 under the scheme, with a potential maximum of just under €7,000. At the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee, the Minister said there would also be some costs on farmers under the new scheme due to its results-based nature. 

It is to be a two-year pilot for 2021 and 2022 with 2022 being subject to funding.

The objectives of the pilot scheme are:

  • Test suitability of model nationally
  • Feasibility for upscaling as part of next AECM scheme
  • Identify training needs
  • To identify barriers to buy-in
  • To raise awareness of biodiversity and ecosystem values
  • Test suitability of the Department’s procedures and systems
  • Test monitoring and evaluation needs
  • To identify control and inspection implications
  • The proposed measure is:
    • Grasslands using a “whole field” approach
    • Three elements – the field, field boundary & the field margin
    • Maintenance and enhancement of existing farm features

This scheme is much-hyped so-called ‘REPS-2’ Scheme and it’s nothing like the original Rural Environmental Protection Scheme (REPS).

If the Government wants to live up to their promises, they must deliver this.

EU/COPA Developments on CAP

  • IFA rural development committee is engaging with COPA and the EU commission on various aspects of CAP.
  • Ongoing dialogue with the Department of Agriculture to ensure a case is made to Brussels on changes to GLAS, ANC and TAMS schemes.
Michael Biggins
Denis Griffin
Senior Policy Executive

Related Articles