Farmers should get the “highest allocation of available funding” in Budget 2023, given how exposed the farm sector is, says the Irish Farmers Association (IFA).

IFA president Tim Cullinan said more Government support will be needed for farm families and suggested that the budget, set to be announced at the end of this month, “gives the opportunity to show how truly the Government understands the on-farm challenges and stress experienced by farm families”.

The IFA leader made his comments following meetings between an IFA delegation, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue and his officials on the budget this week.


Cullinan described how there is “huge fear and uncertainty among farmers” as part of his call to Government for greater supports in suckler payments, environmental schemes and roof-top solar PV.

“We’re hearing it every day of the week, as rising input prices erode on-farm margins and output prices across many sectors are under increased pressure. It’s relentless, with no sign of things improving in the short term. If anything, the contrary looks more likely,” he said.

The Tipperary pig farmer insisted that Government must commit to funding a scheme similar to the BEEP-S for suckler farmers in 2023.

He said the current scheme “has proven to be positive, with 25,000 farmers participating annually”, but warned that there has been “no commitment” to fund it next year so far.

The level of support for suckler farmers in the CAP strategic plan is "insufficient", says the IFA.

“The economic sustainability of suckler farms is based on direct income support. The level of support in the CAP strategic plan is insufficient and shows a reduction of €28m compared to current levels. It’s vital that a similar nationally-funded scheme is put in place for 2023,” he said.

No limit to ACRES

The IFA president warned that the Minister “must ensure that all farmers who wish to participate in ACRES receive a payment next year” and said that the “scheme cannot be limited to 50,000 farmers”.

“Agri-environment schemes make up a substantial portion of farm payments each year and are a critical source of income for many family farms.

“It’s proposed to open ACRES on a tranche basis, which will cause a lag between GLAS and ACRES. Some farmers will be left out of an agri-environment scheme for a year.

"Not extending participation to all eligible and interested parties into the scheme in 2023 is simply unacceptable,” he said.


Cullinan again called for Minister Eamon Ryan’s Department of the Environment to fund a new roof-top solar scheme and anaerobic digestion support scheme to enable farmers to invest in on-farm renewable energies. He said such finance for these measures should be independent of TAMS.

A new roof-top solar scheme should be funded by Minister Eamon Ryan's department, says the IFA.

On where money from farmers for Budget 2023 could come from, the IFA president said: “There’s close on €1bn Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) funding that needs to be used by end of next year. The vast bulk has yet to be allocated.

“We’ve submitted a comprehensive submission outlining a series of targeted measures that could build on-farm resilience and support farms through 2023 and beyond, and are available for further engagement. Time is ticking," he said.

Tillage and fodder

IFA rural development chair Michael Biggins said it is “vital that the Tillage Incentive Scheme and the Fodder Support Scheme are continued for 2023”.

“Farmers who do not have land suitable to grow and save fodder but carry livestock across the winter should be included in the fodder support,” he said.

On taxation, IFA farm business chair Rose Mary McDonagh called for Budget 2023 to retain all existing agri-taxation measures, including all expiring stock reliefs and young trained farmer reliefs.

She said Government must also increase the class A threshold for capital acquisition tax to former levels and improve competition within the banking sector.

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