Payments have now commenced under the Calf Investment Scheme, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Dara Calleary, has confirmed.
Making the announcement earlier today (Friday, August 7th), the minister said the initiative was put in place in advance of the spring-calving season with a view to ensuring the highest possible calf welfare outcomes and to provide targeted support to the rearing of beef calves from the dairy herd as well as replacement heifer calves born on Irish dairy farms.
The Calf Investment Scheme was launched last December and opened for applications on January 7th, 2020.
Over 2,300 applications were received and approved to proceed under the scheme, according to the department.
Calf feeding system
The primary policy objective of the scheme, it outlined, is to support farmers in ensuring the welfare of calves born on Irish dairy farms, recognising the operational challenges associated with feeding in the early weeks of their lives.
The investment focus is on supporting calf feeding systems such as computerised calf feeders, milk carts with mixer included and calf teat feeders.
When a farmer purchased one of these items, they were also eligible to receive support for the purchase of other items, such as calf milk heaters, calf forage/hay racks, calf meal troughs, calf feed barriers and calf pen dividers.
The Minister added “I am delighted with the level of interest in this scheme and I encourage anyone that received approval to purchase their equipment and submit their payment claim as soon as possible.”
“I would remind all approved applicants that their application for payment must be submitted by the extended deadline of September 30th, 2020, at the latest.”
Potential applicants are also reminded that the closing date for Tranche 18 of TAMS II has been extended to August 21st, 2020.