FCI welcomes proposed silage grant
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, TD, has announced a proposed €100/ha silage-making grant.
Farmers could be paid €100/ha up to a max of 10ha to grow silage, if Cabinet gives it approval.
The FCI has welcomed the grant. It has said that focussing this grant aid on silage-making will ensure that farm contractors, who provide a silage harvesting service, can be paid the necessary fuel surcharges to maintain operations.
FCI said the total amount of this proposed grant almost exactly matches the increase in diesel costs for silage-making contractors that it has been seeking to be ring-fenced to ensure the delivery of the national silage harvest.
John Hughes, national chair of FCI, said in a statement this afternoon (May 3rd, 2022):
“The announcement of this proposed grant is a clear acknowledgement of the need to financially support farmers to help them to pay their silage contractors for the significantly increased costs, just one of which is fuel, now being incurred as we prepare for the 2022 national silage harvest.”
“The proposed €100/hectare silage grant will help farmers in some way to pay their silage contractor a fair fuel surcharge for the increased costs now being incurred primarily not exclusively due diesel cost increases.”
“There are also other significant cost increases such as machinery parts, lubrication oils and the purchase of new tractors and machines that have pushed up contractor charges in 2022,” Hughes added.
“The cost of the exorbitant agricultural diesel price increases during 2022 can now in some way be defrayed by the proposed government aid mechanism in the form of the silage grant, to allow farmers to meet the additional silage contractor charges for 2022.”
The FCI chair said this can also support the viability of many silage contracting businesses that were facing huge and unsustainable cost increases for their services to farming this year.
The FCI said this silage harvesting grant has come at a time when all Farm & Forestry Contractors were “burdened” with an additional 2c/L of fuel carbon tax cost at the start of this month, pushing diesel costs even higher.
Reclaim carbon tax
FCI is still campaigning for equity in terms of the carbon tax double deduction under Section 664A of the 2012 Finance Act.
They say it would allow members to reclaim the carbon tax portion of their agri-diesel costs, as a tax credit, in the same that farmers can benefit from carbon tax relief.
The FCI has urged the DAFM to implement a “meaningful” strategy in place that recognises the “essential” role of the silage contractor.