Farmers are set to be paid over €1,000/ha from next year onwards for undertaking some of the actions set out in the proposed Agri Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES), the Irish Farmers Journal can reveal.

Under the new scheme, farmers can expect €1,000/ha for creating winter bird food plots, €1,047/ha for the environmental management of fallow tillage land and €2,514 for creating a tree belt of only 0.5ha in size.

The payment rates cited are included in the updated draft CAP strategic plan sent by Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue to Brussels to undergo the final stage of finalisation.


Results-based payment rates for those participating in ACRES through the general entry route will range from €225/ha to €400/ha for low-input grassland, depending on the scores achieved during individual field assessments.

The same payment rates are set to issue to farmers undertaking the low-input peat grassland action.

A payment top-up of €50/ha will issue as a bonus to those taking low-input grassland out for late meadow.

The Department’s plan also shows that intensive grassland located next to watercourses will receive €502/ha when managed under the terms of ACRES, while the low emissions slurry spreading action will be paid at the rate of €1.20/m³.


Plots of commonage entered through either the co-operation or general streams will receive a minimum payment of €50/ha for the first 20ha regardless of score.

Farmers undertaking results-based actions on grassland, peatland or scrubland will be able to draw down a maximum of €400/ha for their efforts, with lower payment rates assigned to sub-optimal commonage areas.

Lower results-based payment rates will issue to those entering parcels of grassland, peatland or scrubland into the scheme that is already receiving payment under the Organic Farming Scheme (OFS).

Trees and hedges

Farmers could receive payment for planting trees and managing hedgerows under the Department’s new proposals.

The payment rate for new trees is set to be €6.21/tree, while hedges planted under the scheme will receive payment at €5.29/m.

Existing hedges can be lain or coppiced at rates of €5.47/m and €2.87/m respectively.

See more in next week's Irish Farmers Journal.