Rural Development Reports

Rural Development Council Report July 2023

  1. Scheme Updates 


  • TAMS III opened for applications on 22nd February 2023.  
  • The closing date of Tranche 1 of the scheme was extended to 30th June 2023. Approvals are expected to be issued by late August/September.  
  • Approximately 2,266 applications were received across 9 TAMS 3 Schemes (excluding WCIS) as of 16/06/23. 
  • Tranche 2 opened on the 1st July. No closing date has yet been announced.  
Scheme Grant Rate Investment Ceiling 
Animal Welfare, Nutrient Storage Scheme (AWNSS) 40% €90,000 
Tillage Capital Investment Scheme (TCIS) 40% €90,000 
Pig & Poultry Capital Investment Scheme (PPIS) 40% €500,000 
Dairy Equipment Scheme (DES) 40% €90,000 
Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme (YFCIS) 60% €90,000 
Women Farmer Capital Investment Scheme (WFCIS) 60% €90,000 
Organic Farmer Capital Investment Scheme (OCIS) 60% €90,000 
Farm Safety Capital Investment Scheme (FCIS) 60% €90,000 
Solar Capital Investment Scheme (SCIS) 60% €90,000 (Separate ceiling) 
Low Emission Slurry Spreading Equipment Scheme (LESS) 60% €40,000 (Separate ceiling) 


Action Area Covered 
Extensively Grazed Pasture 182,850ha 
Wild Bird Cover 7,000ha 
Catch Crops 22,000ha 
Riparian Buffer Zone 5,500km of watercourse 
Field Margins 804km 
Barn Owl Boxes 11,500 boxes 
  • Scoring has commenced for results-based measures and is due to be completed by 31st August. Approximately 170,000 scorecards have been issued, with circa 17,500 completed (as of 5th July). 
  • At a recent meeting with DAFM officials, IFA strongly rejected the suggestion of penalties being imposed on farmers as a result of planners not submitting their ACRES scorecards on time. DAFM have provided a facility for advisors to sub-contract to other trained advisors who may have additional capacity to help resolve issues. 
  • A text message was issued to farmers who have Low-Input Grassland (LIG) and Low Input Peat Grassland (LIPG) regarding the Late Meadow Bonus payment. Participation is optional. The earliest date that meadows may be cut for hay/silage is 1st July and the latest date to qualify for the bonus payment is 31st August. Farmers may make a claim through their planner by submitting a Geo-tagged photograph via AgriSnap, giving a clear representation of the mown meadow. The photo must be submitted to DAFM on the date of mowing or within 5 days after mowing activity. The bonus payment is €50/ha. 
  • ACRES training is due to be undertaken by participating farmers by the end of year 1. Applications are due to open over the coming weeks.  
  • Due to wet weather and poor ground conditions, IFA successfully lobbied to extend the planting date for Winter Bird Food from the 15th May to the 31st May 2023.     
  • Tranche 2 of the scheme is due to open in Q4 2023. IFA insist that ACRES must not be limited to 50,000 farmers. All farmers seeking to get into Tranche 2 of ACRES must be accommodated. 
SCHEME Applications submitted * 
BISS 124,664 
CRISS 124,664 
ECO 121,603 
ANC 117,546 

BISS Applications 2023 

  • Applications for BISS/CRISS/Eco-schemes opened on 28th February. Applications closed on 29th May 2023. 
  • A total of 128,712 farmers made applications. Over 96% of farmers chose to participate in the Eco-Scheme measure. 
  • DAFM confirmed that 37,946 farmers applied online to transfer payment entitlements before the 14 June deadline, up by nearly 5,000 from 2022.  

Knowledge Transfer Scheme  

The Knowledge Transfer Programme 2024-2026 was announced on 14th July. Expressions of Interest are currently open to FAS approved advisors until Friday 1 September 2023. If approved, the KT Facilitator will be invited to submit an application for a Knowledge Transfer Group and nominate the Group Participants by 31 October 2023. Facilitators will hold eight meetings per year. Farmers will receive €750 per annum where all the requirements of the Programme have been met. 

Fodder Support Scheme 2023 

The FSS 2023 has reopened to allow existing FSS  2023 applicants to amend downwards the area they entered for FSS 2023 in November/December 2022 to reflect the land the participant has claimed on their 2023 BISS application, if required. FSS amendments must be submitted through by 12TH September 2023. In the Pre-Budget Submission 2024, IFA have called on the Minister to renew the FSS, and open applications to all eligible farmers, not just successful applications in the previous scheme. 

  1. Activity since last National Council  
  • IFA met with DAFM to discuss issues arising with TAMS & ACRES schemes. Communication is ongoing.  
  • IFA attended the first meeting of the CAP Strategic Plan (CSP) Stakeholder Forum.  
  • Most of the proposed amendments are text based or clerical corrections, some of the amendments also relate to text clarification to ensure the intended meaning of provisions are clearly understood. Discussions were held on implementation of CAP schemes so far and DAFM communication strategies. 
  • Negotiations for a new Farmers Charter began on 26th January and are currently ongoing. 
  • Major changes include the Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) payment being pushed back by one month to 17th October. The new BISS payment was also pushed back by a week to 24th October. IFA also requested that an Independent Chair be appointed to oversee the negotiation process.  
  • IFA made it clear to the Department on the day that no such delays would be accepted. Despite this, the Department acted unilaterally and wrote to all farmers advising them of these new dates.  
  • A meeting of the Charter was held on 27th of April, chaired by Minister McConalogue. The Minister confirmed that an Independent Chair would be put in place to oversee the remaining negotiation process. This commitment was not upheld. 
  • IFA will not be attending any further negotiations until a promise made by Minister McConalogue at the Charter meeting in April to appoint an independent Chair to manage Charter negotiations is honoured, and the Dept agree to revisit their unilateral decision to delay payments to farmers in the Autumn. 
  • IFA cannot accept any delay in farm payments, particularly the ANC payment, where these delays are due to internal Department constraints.  
  • The Rural Development Committee outlined key asks in IFA’s Budget Submission 2024 including; 
  • All farmers seeking to get into Tranche 2 of ACRES must be accommodated, and the scheme must not be limited to 50,000 applicants. There must be no downward revision / pro-rata reduction in either payment or maximum eligible area within individual measures of future iterations of ACRES. 
  • On TAMS, commitment to update TAMS Reference costs before each tranche as well as inclusion of additional investment items such as dribble bars; rubber mats; hydraulic operated crushes. 
  1. Any EU/COPA developments 
  • IFA have attended a number of Copa-Cogeca Post 2027 CAP, Direct Payments & Rural Development Working Parties as well as a meeting of the CAP Civil Dialogue Group, which took place on 20th & 21st June.  
  • IFA provided feedback on ‘Initial Reflections post CAP 2027’ document, highlighting the need to put farmers at the centre of decision making in CAP post 2027, with greater focus on economic sustainability; reducing the complexity and bureaucracy, and greater protecting the active farmer. 
  1. Upcoming issues 
  • IFA will meet with Minister McConalogue to outline key priorities for Budget 2024 
  • The next CAP Strategic Plan Stakeholder Forum will take place on 31st July 
  • COPA meeting on CAP & Direct Payments on 11th September 
  • Ongoing communication with DAFM on issues relating to relevant schemes 

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