The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has published a list of eight high-priority geographical areas relating to its new flagship agri-environmental measure, ACRES.
Land locations will determine which of the two entry pathways that farmers can take, as That’s Farming previously reported.
The eight geographical areas are:
- Burren – High Nature Value Services
- Donegal – Inishowen Development Partnership;
- East Southeast – The Hen Harrier Project Limited;
- Mid-West Southern Uplands – The Hen Harrier Project Limited;
- North Connaught Ulster – The Hen Harrier Project Limited;
- Northwest Connaught – Wetland Services Ireland;
- South Mayo Connemara – Wetland Services Ireland;
- West Cork Kerry – South Kerry Development Partnership.
According to the DAFM, farmers will be able to identify the ACRES approach for which they are eligible by logging onto Agfood from Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022.
They can also check this by texting the DAFM through an SMS facility.
The DAFM has developed a ‘ACRES Stream checker’ as a means by which farmers may ascertain which AECM approach they are eligible for.
- The applicant will send initial SMS to 50124 with the following text “DAFM ACRES” with their Herd ID. For example: DAFM ACRES A1234567.
- Department will receive the SMS and check the applicant’s stream eligibility based on their submitted BPS 2021 Application data;
- Once the DAFM has determined a stream for a Herd ID, it will reply with an SMS including the Eligible Stream information. For example, SMS to be received “A1234567 – Stream: Co-operation, CP Area: EAST SOUTH EAST. Please contact your advisor to submit an access agreement.
- An Access Agreement screen is going live on AgFood on June 22nd, 2022.
- ACRES advisors, acting on behalf of their clients, can sign up to facilitate preparing an application in due course. The DAFM requires this to link potential clients with their selected adviser so they may work on their behalf on the scheme;
- This is an agreement between an ACRES applicant and his/her advisor so that they can access BPS/BISS data for the purposes for ACRES (including preparing a Farm Sustainability Plan and the subsequent application);
- To be eligible to apply on behalf of his/her clients in due course, an advisor must be recorded on the Department’s Corporate Customer Management (CCM) as an ‘ag agent with ACRES Training’ (also known as an ‘ACRES advisor’). Moreover, his /her clients must be associated with him/her on CCM for ACRES.
- Lastly, the DAFM confirmed that ACRES advisor training will take place early next month.
Minister McConalogue has described the new measure as a “farmer-friendly scheme that will help address biodiversity decline while delivering an important income support for up to 50,000 farm families”.
Earlier today, he noted that this is the “highest amount of money ever” that a government has committed to a single agri-environmental scheme.