The €1.5bn Agri-Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES) has been formally opened by Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue.
Farmers and their advisers now have until the closing date of 21 November 2022 to apply.
The system for plan preparations was opened in September. However, some of the final details of the scheme have only been confirmed and announced in recent days.
Budget 2023 provided funding to facilitate the intake of 30,000 participants in this first tranche of ACRES with a further 20,000 farmers expected to be allowed enter next year.
There are two ways for farmers to enter the new farm environmental scheme. Through the ACRES general approach farmers will receive a maximum annual payment of up to €7,311. This approach is available nationally, outside of the defined ‘high priority geographical areas’ and offers a range of prescription and results-based on-farm environmental measures.
Farmers can receive up to €10,500 in a given year through the ACRES co-operation approach available to farmers in defined high priority geographical areas, most notably in the west of Ireland.
Minister McConalogue said all farmers and advisers should take a “serious look” at the scheme before its closing date next month.
"I want ACRES to deliver for our farm families as well as the environment so I am looking forward to seeing this ambitious scheme roll out over the coming weeks and months,” he said.
The terms and conditions of ACRES, along with the specifications for ACRES General, are published on the Department’s website at gov.ie/ACRES.