The Department of Agriculture has extended the deadline for submitting soil sample results for Agri-Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES) Tranche 1 participants from 15 May 2024 to 31 December 2024.

A circular circulated to ACRES advisers highlighted that adverse weather in recent months has created difficult ground conditions hampering the collection of suitable soil samples for analysis.

The circular stated “to allow participants more time to take samples and upload results, an extension has been granted to the submission deadline as follows: ACRES Tranche 1 participants have until 31 December 2024 to upload valid soil sample results or soil sample exemption forms, where applicable”.

The move has been welcomed by advisers who are getting busier as they are entering the peak period for submitting Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS) applications.

The extension will also provide an opportunity for samples collected under the Department’s Soil Sampling and Analysis Programme to be utilised for ACRES purposes. Reports indicate that sampling under the scheme is also running behind.

Submission process

The only soil samples which will be accepted are those which have been taken on or after 1 January 2022. Advisers have been reminded that soil analysis documents must be uploaded on the ACRES system by an approved ACRES adviser. Documents submitted by post or email will not be accepted.

Failure to submit soil analysis by 31 December 2024 for Tranche 1 participants may result in termination from the ACRES scheme and claw back of monies previously paid.