Rural Development Reports
Rural Development Council Report July 2022
- TAMS Tranche 27 opened on July 2nd and will close on Friday, 23rd September 2022
- Due to the unprecedented rise in inflation, TAMS reference costs have become completely out of kilter with the soaring costs of materials. This has resulted in the number of farmers applying for TAMS support to decline.
- IFA continue to lobby for a system to review costings before the opening of each tranche while the extremely high levels of inflation continue
- Following lobbying by IFA, a full review of TAMS reference costings was undertaken last year and implemented at the start of Tranche 26
- The increase in reference costings range from 5% to 15% across the investment’s items listed under TAMS
- 1,509 applications were received under Tranche 25 with the Department of Agriculture confirming 100% approval for all applications.
- To date, 50,510 approvals have been issued
- Payments of €360.1m have been paid out to 28,910 farmers to date. A further 1,112 farmers have lodged payment claims.
- Average weekly payments range between €1.2- €1.4 million.
- When the carryover allocation from TAMS 1 is taken into account, €371.8m has been spent out of the RDP allocation of €523.81m.
- Tranche 28 will be the final tranche under the current TAMS. It will open on 24th September and close on 16th December 2022.
- TAMS successor is schedule to commence in January as outlined in the draft CAP Strategic Plan
- Applications for BPS and ANC 2022 closed on Monday 16th May, with 128,360 farmers making an application
- For 2022, the ANC minimum stocking density requirement will be calculated on the maximum eligible area (MEA) submitted in 2022, rather than on the claimed area, as was used in previous years.
- Following IFA lobbying, Farmers who had applied for ANC in previous years, but failed to tick the ANC box on their 2022 application, were contacted by DAFM before submission deadline.
- DAFM contacted approx. 600 farmers/ agents on the issue. Of those contacted, 143 applicants went back and made amendments to their application.
- In November 2021, over 45,000 farmers received their advance GLAS payment, totalling €159.6m
- In May, GLAS Balancing payments (15%) commenced, with 44,184 (95.9%) of participants paid to date.
- The total GLAS 2021 payments made to eligible applicants is €188m
- GLAS+ Balancing payments began issuing to over 3,200 farmers at the end of June. The payments are worth almost €700,000.
Fodder Support Scheme
- Fodder Support Scheme (FSS) will support farmers to grow sufficient grass and conserve sufficient fodder (silage and/or hay) for the 2022 winter
- Participants must agree to cut and conserve silage and or hay by 5th September 2022.
- The payment rate will be €100 per eligible hectare, on up to a maximum of 10 hectares.
- € 1,000 maximum payment for farmers
- Applications close on 2nd August 2022, with payments expected to begin issuing in late November 2022.
- An updated draft version of the CAP Strategic Plans was submitted by DAFM to Commission on Dec 31st 2021. This latest draft version is currently available to the public.
- In March, DAFM received the European Commission’s Observations letter in respect of Irelands draft CAP Strategic Plan. The Commission has concerns that the impact on the environment will be modest and may ultimately not lead to an improvement of the farming footprint on environment and climate in Ireland. The Commission has called for a revision of a number of areas if Ireland is to achieve its environmental ambition. Negotiations are ongoing between DAFM and the Commission on how these targets can be achieved.
- IFA participate in the CAP Consultative Committee and have made a detailed submission in light of the observations outlined.
- A revised version of the CAP Strategic Plan is expected to be submitted by the end of July, with Commission approval expected by the end of September 2022.
- New agreement will commence on Jan 1st 2023
Agri-Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES)
- A new Agri-Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES) will replace the current GLAS scheme.
- The scheme proposes to have up to 50,000 farmers participating and it’s planned to open the scheme over at least two tranches. Tranche 1 is scheduled to open in quarter 4 2022, with scheme participation commencing in January 2023. Tranche 2 is to open for applications in quarter 4 2023, with scheme participation commencing in January 2024.
- It will consist of two elements:
- Cooperation Project option:
- available to farmers in 8 zones which have been defined as high priority geographical areas
- Farmers will work with a Local Cooperation Project Team, who will assist in the implementation of the scheme at local level;
- Average payments are expected to be in the region of €7,400 with the potential for a maximum of €10,500.
- There are approx. 32,000 farmers in the areas identified under the co-operative option and uptake under the ACRES Co-Operation approach is estimated to be 20,000 farmers over a number of tranches.
- General option:
- Available nationally to farmers not in the Co-operative Model areas
- This will consist of farm level actions including results-based measures.
- Average payments are expected to be in the region of €5,000 per annum over the five-year period of the scheme with the potential to reach a maximum of €7,300.
- Expected uptake is estimated to be 30,000 farmers over a number of tranches.
Farmers can identify if they are in the general or co-operation approach of ACRES through the following ways:
- 1. On AgFood – a farmer may log directly onto AgFood where, under ‘ACRES Access Agreement’ tab, there will be an information page which will indicate what approach s/he is eligible for ACRES.
- 2. Through your advisor – a farmer’s advisor, who has signed up to the ACRES Access Agreement, may also view on AgFood which ACRES approach his/her client may apply for.
- 3. SMS- applicant will send initial SMS to 50124 with the following text “DAFM ACRES” followed by their Herd ID. For example, “DAFM ACRES A1234567”
IFA Comments on ACRES
- There is a real issue of transition for farmers completing GLAS and the commencement of ACRES being caused by the tranche funding approach. In light of the importance of agri-environment scheme payments to farmers’ incomes, it is essential that no farmer who wishes to participate is left out in 2023. This can be done by either rolling over 12,000 GLAS 3 participants for 2023 which would reduce the number of new applications in 2023 or alternatively, by paying an upfront ACRES payment in 2023 for Tranche 2 participants, similar to the way REPS payments were in the past.
- The ACRES Scheme must deliver €10,500 to all farmers, regardless of whether they are in the general or co-operation approach of the scheme. It will be essential to facilitate the higher payments that farmers are already receiving from their participation in existing schemes. Failure to do this will reduce the ability of farmers to deliver for the environment.
- The ACRES Co-operative Option aims to replace GLAS and EIPs. However, some farmers in the relevant areas will experience a major cut in payment from ACRES by comparison with what they received, combined, through GLAS and EIPs, which is unacceptable and counterproductive in terms of environmental output.
- The cooperative model and the general option are to include some results-based measures. Results-based measures must be realistic and suitable for all sectors, include a large list of options and provide for simple scoring which is easily defined. They must also be practical and achievable. There are currently four proposed results-based actions: commonage, low input grassland, low input peat grassland and protection of rare breeds.
- It is critical that the scheme recognises existing features on farms and continues to enhance earlier scheme actions.
- Meeting with DAFM on ACRES- 15th July 2022