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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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€400/ha for farmers to grow tillage crops

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has announced details of its Tillage Incentive Scheme, which incentivises farmers to grow additional tillage crops.

It has proposed a budget of €10 million, which will deliver a payment rate of €400/hectare.

The DAFM aims to encourage farmers to grow more tillage crops (e.g., barley, oats, wheat) in 2022 versus 2021.

Farmers should declare the relevant crops on their 2022 BPS application.

For areas of crops to be eligible, the land must not have been in tillage production in 2021.

Tillage Incentive Scheme

The DAFM stated that Russia and Ukraine are “significant” sources of global cereal exports, so the price and availability of cereals globally is impacted by the situation in Ukraine and the sanctions on Russia.

Minister McConalogue said today’s package is aimed at producing more native crops, while reducing dependency on imports and on crops with a low demand for chemical fertiliser, which, he added, is limited in supply as a result of the invasion.

“We are living in unprecedented times. The illegal invasion in Ukraine has put our supply chains under enormous pressure, with extraordinarily high input prices and potential supply chain disruption.”

“This is why I have put in place a rapid response team in my department. Furthermore, I established the National Fodder and Food Security Committee to examine how best to advise the sector to manage the disruptions.”

“I am thankful to my cabinet colleagues for supporting this package. Also, I have asked my department officials to engage with the Department of Public Expenditure Reform and the European Commission in the coming days to finalise the package.”

“I committed to standing by our farm families during this crisis and I will continue to do so in the time ahead.”

He urged farmers to take account of this package when deciding on crops to sow in the coming days and weeks.

Furthermore, he also reminded farmers that the crops they declare on their 2022 Basic Payment Scheme application will be the basis for any future payments for these tillage and protein crops.

Multi-Species Sward Scheme and Protein Crops

The minister also proposes to implement a targeted intervention package for certain crops.

He has proposed protein crop supports to encourage farmers to grow protein crops (i.e. peas, beans, lupins and combi-crops) in 2022.

The DAFM said supporting domestic production of protein crops will reduce Ireland’s reliance on imported feed materials.

€3 million is provided for under the EU funded Protein Aid Scheme and the DAFM has proposed a further €1.2 million to guarantee a payment of:

  • €300 per hectare for beans, peas, and lupins;
  • €150 per hectare for combi-crops (cereal/protein mix).

The DAFM confirmed that farmers should declare the relevant crops on their 2022 BPS application.

Multi-Species Sward Scheme

The DAFM has also proposed a Multi-Species Sward Scheme including support for red clover to:

  • Promote environmentally sustainable methods of farming;
  • Greatly reduce nitrogen fertiliser;
  • Maintain forage yields.

The DAFM stated that both multi-species swards and red clover silage can:

  • Save farmers money;
  • Help maintain production levels;
  • Reduce the farm carbon footprint.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine will deliver the measure in co-operation with participating agri-retailers and co-ops throughout the country.

The DAFM said this measure will support the establishment of approx. 12,000 hectares of multi-species swards and approx. 4000 hectares of the red clover silage mix.

According to the DAFM, a targeted intervention package for the tillage sector and a multi-species sward initiative are worth over €12 million to support Irish farmers.

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