The Department of Agriculture announced the opening on Friday of the online application system for a scheme which will pay farmers €100/ha to make hay or silage - the Fodder Support Scheme.
Farmers wishing to apply for the Fodder Support Scheme can now do so either themselves or through their adviser up to the 2 August 2022 by logging on to the exceptional aid system on www.agfood.ie.
The payment rate will be applied to a maximum of 10ha with the maximum potential payment of up to €1,000.
The Department has published a number of responses to some frequently asked questions in relation to the scheme, with further details available below.
Is the Fodder Support Scheme open to all farmers?The Fodder Support Scheme is open to all farmers who submitted a BPS application in 2022 and who are not, as of 16 May 2022, in a milk supply contract. As previously revealed, the scheme therefore excludes dairy farmers.
What land is eligible for the scheme?Grassland declared on the applicant’s 2022 BPS is eligible for the scheme. The Department says grassland is defined as BPS parcels containing alfalfa, arable silage (grass), clover, grass silage, grass years one to five, grass year one to five multi-species sward (MSS), grass-meal, lucerne, permanent pasture, permanent pasture MSS, red clover and traditional hay meadow. Tillage land and ANC category 1 land are not eligible for the scheme.
Potential need for photos
Does a farmer need to take a photo of all the silage or hay parcels they are including?No, however administrative and on-the-spot checks will take place, which may include photographs submitted in a manner described by the Department.
When will Fodder Support Scheme payments issue?The Department anticipates commencing payment to cleared cases in late November 2022.
Does a farmer need an adviser to apply?If a farmer intends to submit their application via their registered adviser, the adviser must be associated on the Department’s exceptional aid system with the farmer. If a new association is required or the farmer is changing their adviser, this can only be done by using the SMS authorisation facility.
Does a farmer need to list all their LPIS parcels that make up the area they are applying for in the scheme?No, the applicant will just need to declare the number of hectares they intend to cut hay and/or silage in 2022 in compliance with the scheme terms and conditions.
Does a farmer have to download the Agri Snap app?This will not be compulsory, but may be used to facilitate administrative checks where possible. Paper-form authorisations will not be accepted. There is no requirement for a farmer to engage the services of a registered agricultural adviser to apply for this scheme, farmers may apply themselves via agfood.ie.
Can leased land for silage or hay be included?Yes, once the land is at the applicant’s disposal and is an eligible hectare declared on your BPS 2022 application.
Does a farmer have to use the fodder conserved on their own farm or can they sell some or all of the fodder?The Department says that farmers who claim under the scheme can sell some or all of the fodder produced on the holding, but that they may be asked to produce evidence demonstrating the cutting and conserving of the fodder and the subsequent sale of the fodder, such as receipts or bank statements.
Is Low Input Permanent Pasture (LIPP) eligible for the Fodder Support Scheme?LIPP parcels under GLAS are excluded, as these parcels are precluded from being cut as part of the terms and conditions of GLAS.
If the farmer cuts the area twice, will they receive a double payment?The farmer will receive a payment of up to €100/ha for every hectare cut, up to a maximum of 10ha. If, for example, the farmer makes two cuts of silage or hay on 5ha of ground, they will receive up to €1,000, as they have harvested two crops of fodder on the parcels. The second cut option should be indicated on the farmer’s application in the requisite space clearly outlining they are committing to cut and conserve 5ha of silage or hay on the first cut and a further 5ha for the second cut.
If a farmer has 30ha of commonage and 10ha of grassland in their 2022 BPS application, are they eligible for this scheme? They are not a milk supplier.You are eligible to apply for the Fodder Support Scheme using the 10ha of grassland. You will have to indicate on your application how much of this you intend to cut and conserve for silage or hay.
Are farm partnerships eligible to apply?Farmers in a farm partnership registered with the Department are eligible for the Fodder Support Scheme provided the partnership submitted a valid BPS application in 2022.