The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has launched its 2023 €2.5 million multi-species sward and red clover silage measures.
The DAFM are introducing these measures to promote environmentally sustainable methods of farming, which will have a positive impact on climate emissions, biodiversity and water quality.
Trial work on multi-species swards has shown positive results around low nitrogen fertiliser use, which has a beneficial impact on reducing nitrous oxide emissions while reducing input costs for farmers.
Meanwhile, research on red clover silage has shown that due to its nitrogen-fixing ability, these swards are higher in protein than conventional silage, and combined with their ability to yield over 14t DM/ha, will assist farmers in reducing their concentrate feed bills while also benefiting the environment and reducing GHG emissions.
Payments will be made directly to approved applicants at a rate of up to €300 per hectare for the establishment of these swards.
To keep the measures within the available budget, the DAFM will reduce the payment rate per hectare as appropriate if eligible applications exceed the available combined budget of €2.5m for these measures.
Minister Charlie McConalogue launched the opening of the scheme on Wednesday afternoon (April 12th, 2023) and confirmed a number of key changes compared to last year’s pilot measures, including:
- The DAFM will issue payments directly to approved farmers on a per-hectare basis;
- The payment rate has been increased significantly up to a potential €300 per hectare where eligible swards are established;
- A reduced payment rate per hectare will apply as appropriate if eligible applications exceed the available combined budget for the two measures.
To receive payment under either measure, an applicant must indicate the correct crop type on their 2023 BISS application.
In order to receive payment under the multi-species sward measure for the parcel(s) where they are establishing the multi-species swards, an applicant must indicate either of the following crop types on their 2023 BISS application:
- Permanent Pasture (MSS measure) (for reseeding permanent pasture with multi-species sward mixture)
- Grass Year 1 (MSS measure) (for multi-species sward mixture following an arable crop)
In order to receive payment under the red clover silage measure, for the parcel(s) where they are sowing the red clover silage mixture, an applicant must indicate the crop type as red clover on their 2023 BISS application.
How to apply
To apply, an applicant/their agent needs to log into Agfood.ie and then select ‘multi-species sward and red clover silage measure’.
They then select ‘schemes to enter’ and finally, ‘Multi-Species Sward Measure (MSSM) 2023/Red Clover Silage Measure (RCSM) 2023’.
The application portal will close on May 29th, 2023.
To be eligible under these measures, the swards must be sown by July 15th and established by September 30th, 2023.
At claim stage, applicants must indicate the area sown as multi-species/red clover and upload their supporting documentation online i.e. invoices and seed labels.
Only seed purchased after the application is lodged on Agfood.ie and before the final date for sowing the crop, July 15th, 2023, is eligible under these measures.