The Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine has, in recent days, answered some key questions relating to its Fodder Support Scheme 2022.
Its questions and answers documentation covers eligibility requirements – land types, payment rates (€100/ha up to a max. of 10ha), and runs and fodder sales.
The scheme is open to farmers who:
- Submitted a BPS application in 2022 and;
- Not, as of May 16th, 2022, in a milk supply contract.
According to the DAFM, grassland declared on the applicant’s 2022 BPS is eligible for the scheme.
Grassland is defined as BPS parcels containing:
- Arable silage(grass);
- Grass silage;
- Grass years 1-5;
- Grass year 1-5 Multi-Species Sward;
- Permanent pasture;
- Permanent pasture MSS;
- Red clover;
- Traditional hay meadow.
LIPP and leased land
Furthermore, tillage land is not eligible for the Fodder Support Scheme. LIPP parcels under GLAS are excluded as these parcels are precluded from being cut as part of the terms and conditions of GLAS.
The DAFM confirmed that the applicant does not need to list all LPIS parcels that make up the area they are applying for in the Fodder Scheme.
They will just need to declare the number of hectares they intend to cut hay and/or silage in 2022 in compliance with the scheme’s terms and conditions.
All applicants will have to cut and conserve the silage and/or hay from the grassland parcels they have entered in the Fodder Support Scheme by Monday, September 5th, 2022.
They do not need to capture photographs of the area; however, administrative and on-the-spot checks will take place. This may include submitting photos in a manner described by the DAFM – the use of the Agri Snap app.
According to the DAFM, at least 5% of applications will be subject to on-farm inspections (up to 48 hours notice). The selected cases will be a combination of random and risk-based.
You can use leased land once the land is at the applicant’s disposal and is an eligible hectare declared on his/her BPS 2022 application.
Selling fodder and two cuts
Furthermore, a DAFM spokesperson noted that: “You can sell some or all of the fodder produced on the holding.”
“However, you may be asked to produce evidence demonstrating the cutting and conserving of the fodder and the subsequent sale of the fodder such as receipts/bank statements etc.”
The spokesperson continued:
“If, for example, you make two cuts of silage and/or hay on 5 hectares of ground, you will receive up to €1,000. This is because you have harvested two crops of fodder on the parcels.”
“The second cut option should be indicated on your application in the requisite space, clearly outlining you are committing to cut and conserve 5 hectares of silage/hay on the first cut and a further 5ha for the second cut.”
How to apply and payment runs
Farmers do not need to engage a registered agricultural advisor’s services to apply and may do so themselves via AgFood.
However, if a farmer intends to submit their application via their registered advisor, the advisor must be associated with the Department’s Exceptional Aid system with them.
The spokesperson concluded:
“If a new association is required or the farmer is changing their advisor, this can only be done by using the SMS authorisation facility. Paper form authorisations will not be accepted.”
The DAFM confirmed that it anticipates commencing payment to cleared cases in late November 2022.
Other articles on That’s Farming: