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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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Tillage Incentive Scheme: Who can apply and what crops are eligible?

Minister for Agriculture, Food, and the Marine Charlie McConalogue, has today (Thursday, March 31st, 2022) launched the Tillage Incentive Scheme.

Today’s move follows McConalogue’s announcement last week concerning a package of measures to provide support to Irish farmers.

With a budget of €10m, the scheme has a proposed payment rate of €400 per hectare.

According to the DAFM, this payment reflects a contribution towards the increase in the cost of growing crops in 2022.

The scheme will incentivise farmers to grow additional tillage crops to “reduce the risk of a shortage of animal feed”.

For an area of crops to be eligible, land must have been in grassland in 2021.

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Eligible crops:

  • Barley (spring and winter)
  • Wheat (spring and winter)
  • Oats (spring and winter);
  • Rye;
  • Oilseed rape (winter and spring);
  • Maize;
  • Fodder/sugar beet.

The crops considered grassland include:

  • Clover;
  • Fallow;
  • Grass (Year 1-5);
  • Grassmeal;
  • Alfalfa;
  • Hemp;
  • Lucerne;
  • Miscanthus;
  • Permanent Pasture;
  • Potatoes;
  • Red Clover;
  • Willow.
Who can apply?

The DAFM confirmed that existing tillage farmers and grassland farmers can join the scheme if:

  • There is an increase in the total area of eligible crops the farmer grows on the holding in 2022 versus 2021;
  • Land on which a farmer grows additional crops on must have been in grassland in 2021.

The DAFM stated that there is no minimum area required for eligibility, but it expects parcels to be “large enough” to justify the effort of planting, harvesting, ect.

Furthermore, the crop can be grown for feed on-farm, traded farm-to-farm or sold to a merchant.

Inspections and BPS application declarations

The DAFM will carry out remote sensing (satellite) and field inspections to ensure crops are grown to a good commercial standard, in terms of adequate seeding rate, crop establishment and management.

Furthermore, farmers should declare the relevant crops on their 2022 BPS application along with all their other land for 2022 as normal.

Based on the crops declared on the 2022 BPS application, the department will write to eligible farmers in June 2022.

Reduce dependency on imported feed material

In a statement, Minister McConalogue said:

“The Tillage Incentive Scheme aims to support farmers to grow more tillage crops in 2022, to reduce Ireland’s dependency on imported feed material.”

“We have acted quickly to put this package in place. I am grateful to my department and everyone in the sector for working so hard to deliver it.”

Minister McConalogue stated: “I urge farmers to take account of the Tillage Incentive Scheme when deciding on crops to sow in the coming days and weeks.”

“I also remind farmers that the crops declared on your 2022 Basic Payment Scheme application will be the basis for entry into the scheme and for any future payments under the scheme.”

The Department has confirmed it is finalising the Red Clover Silage Measure, which McConalogue announced as part of last week’s package.


McConalogue also announced a derogation for farmers in relation to the crop diversification rule under the Greening Scheme for 2022.

He said this change will provide “maximum flexibility” for farmers with regard their planting decisions.

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