September 19, 2023

Support for the agricultural sector to be confirmed in the budget

Farmers should benefit from specific budgetary measures which will be announced by the minister in charge of agriculture.

Farmers will be eligible for assistance under the government’s energy aid program available to all businesses.

Details are yet to be confirmed, but dairy, poultry and pig farmers all use a significant amount of electricity.

Capital will also be made available to support the development of anaerobic digestion on farms. AD systems produce gas, heat and organic fertilizers from organic materials.

A new program to improve the efficiency of suckler cow emissions is also planned, under which farmers will be paid for collecting data on cattle and calves.

This will replace an existing program known as the Beef Environmental Efficiency Program -Sucklers or BEEP-S. This had funding of 28 million euros and the new scheme will have a similar amount.

Funding will also be included in the budget to ensure that 30,000 farmers can participate in the new Agri Climate Rural Environmental or ACRES program next year. This will be a key element of the CAP which will come into force in January.

A new fodder support scheme that will pay farmers up to €1,000 to save on hay and silage will also be part of the farm budget. It is a continuation of this year’s fodder program, introduced by Minister Charlie McConalogue in the weeks following the start of the war in Ukraine.

The Tillage Incentive Scheme, which pays out payments to farmers who turn grassland into arable land, is also being rolled over, but this was announced last week at the National Plowing Championships.

The budget will also provide additional funding for farm modernization through various programs including TAMS – the Targeted Agricultural Modernization Program.

Funds will be available to encourage farmers to develop multi-species lawns by planting grasslands with a variety of nitrogen-fixing plants.

Funding of €8 million will also be made available to promote the spreading of lime on pastures, promoting the release of nitrogen, which is essential for the health and growth of plants.

These last two measures will contribute to reducing the need for spreading synthetic fertilizers, which have become rare and very expensive.