A third tranche of the Tier 1 capital grant scheme in Northern Ireland is to open for applications on 2 November 2020.

DAERA Minister Edwin Poots announced on Friday that a budget of £7.5m has been allocated for the new scheme.

The Tier 1 element of the Farm Business Improvement Scheme provides up to 40% grant funding for the purchase of equipment and machinery costing between £5,000 to £30,000, from a list of eligible items.

“This will build upon the success of the previous two tranches of Tier 1, which provided £14.4m in grant support to over 3,000 farmers and growers,” Minister Poots said.

Slurry equipment

With low emission slurry spreading equipment (LESSE) becoming mandatory for contractors and certain farmers, this equipment is being prioritised in the latest tranche of Tier 1.

Under the current Nutrient Action Plan, all slurry contractors in NI will have to use LESSE from 1 February 2021.

A year later, from 1 February 2022, around 1,100 farmers in NI who have over 200 livestock units (20,000kg N for pig farms) will no longer be able to use splash plates.

“LESSE items, such as trailing hoses, trailing shoes, soil incorporation or soil injection methods, will be contained within their own item banding [along with slurry covers and slurry scrapers] and allocated the highest item score,” Minister Poots said.