What are some of the most common issues that you are seeing regarding applications being rejected outright?

  • Not having the required amount of land on BPS/BISS.
  • Not having a minimum of three equine (horses, ponies and donkeys) for equine investments.
  • No tillage land evident on BPS/BISS for the Tillage Capital Investment Scheme (TCIS) investments.
  • Applications lower than the minimum €2,000.
  • Query letters ignored.
  • Blank documents uploaded.
  • All applicants not being eligible in a joint venture (Women Farmers’ Capital Investment Scheme (WFCIS) and Young Farmers’ Capital Investment Scheme (YFCIS))
  • Full planning permission not granted or expired.
  • Stocking rate.
  • Or other minimum eligibility requirements.
  • What are the main issues that result in corrections to applications?

    The main issues that result in query letters being sent to applicants requiring corrections or alterations are missing, incomplete, or unclear details on applications, especially for the farmyard plan (FYP), and drawings of buildings. These include:

  • No name, address, herd number, or TAMS number on the farmyard plan.
  • No Eircode or GCPS reference on FYP.
  • Location of external and/or internal agitation points not clearly identified on FYP.
  • No legend, directional arrow, or entrance marked on FYP.
  • Proposed dimensions of investment not matching dimensions on drawings submitted.
  • Dimensions missing on detailed drawing for solar panel array/roof size/distance from roof edge.
  • Agents acting as the contact for the applicant who is not the authorised contact on GCPS, the Department’s generic claims/payment system.
  • Query letters are sent to any applicant where insufficient details are provided, as laid out in the relevant terms and conditions of each scheme.

    Applicants are given 10 working days to respond to the letter. Local offices will try to resolve any issues as soon as possible after response is received.

    If no response is received, or the reply does not adequately address the issues, a second query letter will be issued, with a further 10 working days to respond.

    After this second query letter, if the issue is still not resolved, the application may be rejected.

    Based on experience from TAMS II, and from tranche one of TAMS III, the number of queries expected for fixed investments could be up to 50% of such applications.

    Poor-quality applications will result in significant delays to approvals, and subsequently to payments, given the large increase in applications to be processed this year.

    The Department advises all applicants to confirm with their planners/agents that adequate details have been provided with their applications in order to avoid unnecessary delays or possible rejection.

    All the information required is detailed in the relevant terms of each scheme, and should be collected, if necessary, prior to receipt of the query letter to help speed up this process.

    A number of issues identified on solar scheme applications in tranche one have been clarified and summarised in a document Solar PV requirements – approvals process on the Department’s TAMS – Farm Building and Structures Specifications page at www.agriculture.gov.ie.

    What do farmers need to include in a farmyard sketch? Does it need to be drawn to a certain scale?

    Yes, what is required is a plan of all the existing and proposed structures at a scale of 1:500. According to the terms and conditions, the farmyard plan must include:

  • Name, address and Eircode of the applicant.
  • Address of the fixed investment (and GPS location, if different from above).
  • Investment Identifier showing location of fixed investment.
  • TAMS III number or herd number.
  • All existing and proposed structures.
  • All agitation points must be shown and marked as internal or external.
  • Directional arrow.
  • Roads/laneways.
  • Rivers/streams/drains (if relevant).
  • All features/structures existing and proposed must be clearly marked and labelled on the plan as a legend.
  • For the farm building layout plan, the plan of the investment structure/building should be to a scale of either 1:100 or 1:200. A farmyard plan can be done by a farmer or professionally, provided all of the above list is detailed, and scale is included.

    However, for the farm building plan, a professional drawing would be preferred. It is important that all lines and details on the drawings are clearly visible in the documents being submitted.

    Can farmers get grant aid to install calving cameras or a calving gate in a shed with an internal agitation point?

    No, grant aid is not available for investments in any building which includes an internal agitation or extraction point.

    5In order to make up the €2,000 minimum investment, can farmers opt for investments across several schemes within TAMS, eg a plate meter from the Animal Welfare and Nutrient Storage Scheme (AWNSS) and a skulling gate and head scoop from the Farm Safety Capital Investment Scheme (FSCIS)?

    No. The minimum requirement is per individual scheme.

    For replacement of worn slats, do farmers need an engineer’s report on the tank if it was not built to grant specifications under previous schemes?

    Not for straight slat replacement. However, slat replacement will not be grant-aided if the existing tank is constructed with blocks. An engineer’s report is only required where a building is being constructed over an existing tank, where a new spine wall is to be added to an existing tank, or the tank is being extended.

    Please note that where an existing tank is being covered for the first time, with a new tank cover, that an engineer’s report may be required.

    What volume of applications for TAMS III (tranches one and two combined) have been received so far and what has been some of the most popular items?

    A total of 17,313 applications have been received across tranches one and two.

    There were 8,203 in tranche one which closed on 30 June 2023 and 9,110 in tranche two, which closed 19 January 2024, four times the average number received per tranche in TAMS II.The top 10 main investments items applied for in tranche one of TAMS III are shown in Table 1.

    Issues arose with IT systems last year, and added to the large volume of applications in tranche one, meaning there has been a delay in processing of applications. What is the proposed timescale for the processing and payment of applications?

    There are a number of factors affecting the speed of TAMS III application processing, including the very high volume of applications received in tranches one and two (in each case almost four times the average number received per tranche under TAMS II), and the fact that the Department has, at the same time, been developing and implementing new administrative and IT support systems.

    Bale slicers have proved hugely popular with 1,829 applications received under tranches one and two.

    Last autumn, to help with the processing of the huge number of applications, the Department of Agriculture introduced a priority approval mechanism for farmers who needed to commence works. This assisted farmers who required the construction of slurry and manure storage facilities, or urgent animal welfare-related investments, for the winter of 2023-24.

    All applications received under this facility have now been assessed.

    This priority application process has reopened, so applicants and their advisers who now have an urgent need to commence works should contact their local Department of Agriculture office.

    The application will then be assessed to determine whether there is an urgent need to issue approval, and prioritised accordingly.

    Has there been any movement in the possibility of introducing dribble bars back in to LESS?

    No… we are still awaiting publication of any relevant peer-reviewed research before any further consideration.

    What is the minimum tillage area (hectares) required to qualify for the TCIS?

    The minimum area for Tillage Capital Investment Scheme is 15ha, while it is a minimum of 5ha for the Organic Tillage Investment Scheme.

    Base stations for herd health and heat detections systems cannot be installed in a shed with an internal agitation point. Can it be installed on an external wall of the same shed?

    No, buildings with internal agitation points are not eligible for grant aid.

    Grant aid is available at 60% rate under Farm Safety Capital Investment Scheme to move agitation points outside buildings.

    What is the current situation regarding copper oil-treated posts for TAMS sheep/bovine/equine fencing? Can copper oil treated posts be used for these grant-approved fences?

    Yes, see Spec document S148 Farm Fencing – January 2024. An updated version of the Irish National Standard I.S. 436 was published in December 2023.

    This allows for the use of copper oils to preserve timber pieces to IS 436 and enables post producers to have their treatment plants certified to treat posts with copper oil preservatives, to IS 436.

    As such, posts treated with copper oils may be used in grant-aided fencing situations, once purchased from certified suppliers.