ACRES – Riparian Buffer Strips/Zones
Grassland farmers will be able to draw down €1,530/ha for riparian buffer strips/zones to a maximum inclusion of 2ha (€3,060), if they select the measure in the DAFM’s new flagship agri environmental scheme, ACRES.
That is according to Teagasc’s Tom Kelly, who has outlined that the measure is also open to arable farmers, who can avail of a maximum payment of €1,242/ha (€2,484), to the same max inclusion.
During the third episode of Teagasc’s Mayo’s spring webinar series, which focused on ACRES and water quality, the advisor explained that the purpose of the riparian buffer strips/zones measure is to protect water quality from sediment/nutrient run-off.
He outlined: “Basically, these areas are fenced off from May 15th and they are stock proof, with the idea being that a high bank of vegetation grows up.”
“Moreover, no chemical or organic fertiliser is allowed, and naturally enough, no pesticides or herbicides are permitted, except for spot treatment of invasive weeds, because you are close to watercourses and streams.”
“Cutting is permitted from August 31st to March 1st, so the big drawback is that you cannot have animals grazing that area, and they must be stock proof. Grassland farmers must have a permanent fence by May 15th, 2023.”
“The riparian zones are a very popular action, with a high rate of payment, with a maximum inclusion of 2ha.”
“The riparian strips, baring in mind a lot of farmers were in GLAS and already have these fences up, so they can continue to get paid.”
“With riparian strips, various payments are based on metre width, for example, grassland 1.5 = 1.30/m,” he concluded.
Other measures in ACRES: What farmers need to know
Last week, That’s Farming published another article about the scheme, relating to a tree planting measure, which carries a payment rate of €6.21/tree/year to a maximum of 300 trees.
The tree planting measure, Teagasc Mayo’s Tom Kelly told viewers of its spring webinar series on ACRES, must be completed before March 31st, 2024, as per the measure’s conditions.
Trees must have a plant passport and be of Irish origin/provenance to “ensure that you are not spreading disease or bringing in trees from foreign shores”, Kelly explained.
Read more on this news article.
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