Protein/Cereal Mix Crop Scheme
Minister Charlie McConalogue has launched the Protein/Cereal Mix Crop Scheme and updated the Tillage Incentive Scheme’s terms and conditions.
This follows the suite of measures the DAFM announced at the end of March and the launch of the Tillage Incentive Scheme early last month.
The DAFM has allocated a budget of €1.2 million for the Protein/Cereal Mix Crop Scheme. This will guarantee payment of €300/hectare for protein crops – beans, peas, and lupins – under the EU Protein Aid Scheme.
The payment rate for the Protein/Cereal Mix crop will be €150 per hectare.
In relation to the Protein/Cereal Mix Crop Scheme, farmers should note the following:
- Protein/Cereal Mix crop must have a seed mix with eligible protein crop seed accounting for at least 50% of the seeding rate. A cereal seed must make up the remainder;
- Eligible crops for the protein element of the seed mix are beans, peas, and lupins, while eligible cereals are wheat, oats, barley, rye, and triticale.
According to McConalogue, these payments “reflect a contribution” towards the increase in the cost of growing crops in 2022.
The DAFM stated that supports for protein crops include three elements:
- The EU-funded Protein Aid Scheme;
- The Nationally funded element of the Protein Aid Scheme;
- The nationally funded Protein/Cereal Mix Crop Scheme.
Tillage Scheme: What is changing?
The updates to the Tillage Incentive Scheme’s terms and conditions include the following:
- Clarification that there must be an increase in the total tillage crops grown on the holding in 2022 versus 2021. Tillage crops are defined as the Tillage Incentive Scheme eligible crops (i.e. oats, wheat, barley etc.), and protein crops (i.e. peas, beans, lupins and protein/cereal mix (50:50) crop).
- Clarification that where land a farmer is declaring in 2022 was not on a BPS application in 2021. The DAFM may require evidence from the applicant to prove that the lands were not in crop production in 2021.
- The DAFM has notified the European Commission about the reference to the details of the scheme in accordance with the EU Temporary Crisis Framework and outlining that overall aid shall not exceed €35,000 per undertaking.
The DAFM advises farmers to declare the relevant crops on their 2022 BPS application along with all their other land for 2022 “in the normal way”.
Based on the crops farmers declare on the 2022 BPS application, the DAFM will write to eligible farmers next month.
In a statement on Monday, May 9th, 2022, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, said:
“As part of our response to support the production of protein crops in Ireland, I am delighted to launch the Protein/Cereal Mix Scheme.”
“Supporting domestic production of protein crops will reduce Ireland’s reliance on imported feed materials.”
“The Tillage Incentive Scheme is a new scheme as part of our response to the cost increases currently facing Irish farmers.”
He said the DAFM has updated the T&Cs to:
- Clarify the treatment of protein crops;
- Address queries relating to land farmers did not declare in 2021;
- Provide specific references to the Agricultural Appeals Office and the EU Temporary Crisis Framework.
Farmers wishing to apply for the Tillage Incentive Scheme, Protein Aid and Protein/Cereal Mix (50/50) Crop Scheme should declare the eligible crops on their 2022 BPS application on AgFood by the closing date of May 16th, 2022.
The crops you declare on your 2022 Basic Payment Scheme application will be the basis for entry into these schemes and any future payments.