The Irish Farmers Journal is receiving an increasing number of buildings-related questions, with many concerning the new Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS III).

This is not overly surprising given the flow of information has been relatively slow in recent months. We have answered some questions in this article and will continue to address questions as we receive them.

If you have questions you can send them to or whats app 086-8366465.

Q. Has there been any announcement yet on when the current tranche of TAMS III is closing? I have heard that it is likely to be the end of September – is this the case?

A. There has been no closing date announced for the second tranche. The period of time between tranches in TAMS II was typically three months, so it may well be the case that TAMS III will follow a similar timeline and the current tranche will close at the end of September but we have no confirmation.

Q. I made an application under the TAMS Solar Capital Investment Scheme but have received no correspondence since it was submitted in spring. Is there any truth that the first tranche is way over subscribed and that there is talks of reducing the level of grant aid payable?

A. It is true that there has been a large number of applications with farm organisations reporting in excess of 750 applications.

It is hard to tell what level of applications will be approved from tranche one as there is no information available regarding funding being split evenly over each tranche or possibly being frontloaded to deal with high demand.

It is unlikely that the level of grant aid would be cut, as the terms and conditions provide for a ranking and selection process where a tranche is oversubscribed.

Q. I am farming at a grassland stocking rate in the region of 160kg organic nitrogen per hectare. Is there a new rule that I won’t be able to apply for TAMS grant aid on a slurry spreader in 2024?

A. Yes, from 1 January 2024 applicants farming at or above 150kg organic N/ha in the year of application or the preceding year are ineligible to apply for Low Emission Slurry Spreading (LESS) equipment.

Q. Any update on whether or not dribble bars will be included under LESS equipment?

A. There has been no further developments on this decision. The Irish Farmers Journal understands that the decision is still being reviewed in light of new research comparing ammonia emissions between trailing shoe and dribble bar systems.

Q. I am reviewing my slurry storage and soiled water storage capacity. Is there any industry figure on how much soiled water or parlour washings is produced per cow?

A. Tom Fallon, Teagasc Farm Infrastructure Specialist says the typical volume of parlour washings produced on farms is 30l/cow/day or 0.21m3 per week. He says rainfall on unroofed collecting yards and return yards may bring the storage requirement up to about 40l/cow/day.

It is also highlighted that if cows are eating silage standing in a collecting yard, then the contents of the tank are then regarded as slurry and must be stored from 1 October until the end of the closing period for spreading slurry.

Parlour washings are classified as soiled water provided it has a biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) of less than 2,500 and a dry matter content of less than 1%.

For those waiting on approvals to build tanks or implementing practices to reduce the volume of soiled water that must be collected Tom has three tips;

  • Scrape yards, where possible, instead of washing;
  • Reduce the area where soiled water is produced by confining cows to certain areas and diverting any runoff from clean yards;
  • Switch from a high-volume low-pressure washer, typically having an output of 182L/minute of water to a low volume (45L/minute) medium pressure washer.