Rural Development Reports

Rural Development Council Report May 2024

Scheme Updates 


  • Following lobbying from IFA, the Minister for Agriculture announced that all Tranche 2 applicants for ACRES would be accepted, bringing an additional 9,000 farmers onto the scheme. 
  • There were 6,700 applications to the General approach of the scheme, as well as 2,300 to the Co-Operation approach.  
  • This brings the total number participating to 55,000 farmers.  
  • Approval letters have begun to issue and can also be viewed via Agfood. 
  • Extensions were secured for Tranche 1 applicants on a number of key measures; 
  • Deadline for tree/hedgerow planting options extended by 12 months to 31st March 2024 
  • Deadline for submission of soil sample results for ACRES T1 applicants extended until 31st December 2024 
  • DAFM has confirmed that AMS will be used to monitor two ACRES actions for 2024 – Extensively Grazed Pasture and Winter Bird Food.  
  • Interim payments began issuing in February – €4000 for ACRES General & €5000 for ACRES CP applicants. DAFM has confirmed a total of €207m has been paid to farmers to date.  
  • Balancing payments for ACRES T1 are due June 2024. 


No. Tranche 1 applications Approved Tranche 2 Tranche 3 
Solar Scheme 751 593 [79%] 738 329 
Dairy Investment Scheme 235 194 [83%] 217 89 
Pig & Poultry 49 47 [96%] 46 38 
Farm Safety 2,050 1,702 [83%] 3,113 1,055 
LESS 551 536 [97%] 756 318 
Tillage Investment Scheme 445 394 [89%] 444 216 
Animal Welfare, Nutrient Management Storage 2,494 2,008 [81%] 2,200 998 
Organics – CIS 928 839 [90%] 634 321 
Women Farmer – CIS 259 195 [75%] 438 170 
Young Farmer – CIS 441 374 [85%] 524 268 
 Total 8,203 (c.50% mobile) 6,882 [84%] 9,110 3,802 
  • 8,203 applications were received under TAMS 3 Tranche 1. Approvals for T1 have been slow but are clearing- currently 6,882 approvals- 540 in progress 
  • Approvals for T2 due to commence shortly- 9,110 applications received 
  • Tranche 3 closed on 12th April- a total of 3,802 applications were received across the ten available TAMS 3 measures. The Minister for Agriculture confirmed that all eligible applications received in this Tranche will be approved. 
  • Tranche 4, which is now open, will close for applications on Friday 6 September, and Tranche 5 will close on Friday 6 December 2024. 
  • The priority approval mechanism for TAMS applications is now open. This mechanism is for farmers who need to commence grant-aided works urgently. Farmer who find themselves in that position are advised to contact a local office of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine so their application can be assessed. 

BISS Applications 2024 

  • Applications for BISS 2024 and other area related schemes now open- Deadline is 15th May. 
  • Application to the National Reserve also close on the same date 
  • Amendments can be made without penalty up until the 31st May 
  • Late applications will be accepted until the 9th June 

National Liming Programme 

  • Extension secured for spreading lime purchased under the scheme to 28th June 2024 

Activity since last council 

  • The Rural Development Committee met on the 30th April 2024 in the Farm Centre. The meeting was also attended by members of DAFM to discuss EIP’s & ACRES.  
  • 3 members of the Committee were also elected to the Management Committee;  
  • Ulster/North Leinster- Brendan Coffey (Westmeath), Peter Cannon (Donegal) 
  • South Leinster- Selena McKenzie (Wicklow) 
  • Following a meeting of the Farmers Charter of Rights in February, the IFA held a bilateral meeting with the Chair of the Charter negotiations to discuss some our key concerns.  Following this, a bilateral meeting was held with Senior DAFM Inspector Michael Moloney to discuss key issues in relation to on farm inspections. Next Charter meeting May 10th.   
  • An IFA delegation attended a Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture on ‘Pre-Legislative Scrutiny of the General Scheme of the Agriculture Appeals (Amendment) Bill 2024’ in February. IFA insisted that this Bill ensures farmers have confidence in the Agriculture Appeals system that their cases will be dealt with fairly, impartially and efficiently 
  • Amendments suggested by IFA: That farmer have option of requesting an oral hearing, that farmer representative sit on the panel, that the panel extend to cases beyond an error in fact or law.  
  • IFA pressed the need for this panel to be established as soon as possible and its scope extended to all appeal cases, not solely those in relation to the law and/or new facts being presented 
  • Read IFA’s Submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture on ‘Pre-Legislative Scrutiny of the General Scheme of the Agriculture Appeals (Amendment) Bill 2024’ Here 
  • Continued engagement on schemes and issues with relevant DAFM personnel. 

EU/COPA Developments 

  • The European Commission has proposed to simplify some parts of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The Parliament approved the package on April 24th (425+ 130- 33 [n/a]) 
  • The main elements proposed in the package include: 
  • GAEC-8 (Non-Productive Features): maintain existing landscape features on their land but will no longer be obliged to dedicate a minimum part of their arable land to non-productive areas (e.g. fallow land). Can do voluntarily and receive payment via Eco-scheme 
  • GAEC-7 (Crop Rotation): fulfil requirement by either rotating or diversifying crops 
  • GAEC-6 (Soil cover during sensitive periods): more flexibility for MS in setting what they define as sensitive periods, & the practices allowed to fulfil this requirement.  
  • May exempt certain crops, soil types or farming systems from complying with requirements on tillage, soil cover, & crop rotation/diversification (respectively GAECS 5, 6, 7) 
  • May introduce temporary derogations if adverse weather has prevented farmers from meeting GAEC requirements.  
  • The number of times Strategic Plans can be changed each year will be doubled.  
  • Small farms (<10ha) exempt from controls & penalties related to compliance with conditionality requirements 
  • Ahead of the vote, IFA issued letters to MEP’s encouraging them to firstly vote Yes to the Commission proposal, and independently, to lobby at both European and National Level to ensure the planned implementation of GAEC 2 from 2025 is postponed, with further derogations provided to Member States to the end of the current CAP programme.   
  • IFA have attended a number of Working Parties, workshops, CDG’s related to CAP simplification and rural development matters. 

Upcoming events 

  • A meeting of the Farmers Charter of Rights will take place on Friday 10th May in Portlaoise 
  • Strategic Dialogue on the Future of Agriculture in the EU on 13th May  
  • Joint Workshop on Solidarity & Rural Communities on 16th May  
  • Ongoing communication with DAFM on issues relating to relevant schemes 

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