The Department of Agriculture has commenced issuing some €30m in advance payments under the 2023 Fodder Support Scheme to 67,000 farmers.

Eligible farmers will receive the payment - 57% of their total scheme payment due in 2023 - into their bank accounts over the coming days. They will receive the remaining 43% in the fourth quarter of 2023.

The scheme was designed to deliver farmers a payment of €100/ha for silage or hay saved, to a maximum payment of €1,000, in order to combat the rising costs of farm inputs such as fertiliser.

With 67,000 farmers receiving an average 57% advance payment of €448, this suggests that the average full payment would be €786.

Some 71,000 farmers received payments under the 2022 Fodder Support Scheme, meaning about 4,000 did not choose to opt into next year's scheme.

Regional breakdown

With dairy farmers exempt from the Fodder Support Scheme, the number of participating beef and sheep farmers for 2023 varies across counties, with those with high levels of suckler farming, such as Galway and Mayo, seeing the highest uptake.

Scheme continuation

The 2023 Fodder Support Scheme is a continuation of the 2022 version and successful applicants for the 2022 scheme were eligible to apply for the 2023 scheme.

As part of next year’s scheme, applicants agreed to the terms and conditions of the scheme, which clearly state that where an applicant fails to deliver some or all of the scheme requirements in 2023, there will be a recouping of some or all of the monies they have been already paid.

The payment is to support farmers conserve enough fodder in light of rising input costs. \ Philip Doyle

The Department has encouraged farmers to be mindful of this when cutting silage or hay in 2023 on the areas declared.

Applicants will have an opportunity to amend the area declared for the 2023 scheme when the online system reopens in May or June of next year.

This essentially means that if the area of hay or silage a farmer saves this coming year changes on what they saved in 2022 and claimed for under the scheme, they will be able to amend it in May or June.

A failure to amend areas to the correct amount saved could result in a recouping of payments by the Department.

Input costs

Announcing the advance payments, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue said they will “further assist farmers in dealing with the increase in agricultural input costs, in particular for chemical fertiliser, and the impact that will have on the quantity of fodder produced and conserved next year”.

He said he “will continue to monitor the situation around the price of agricultural inputs into 2023 and, in the event that they remain high, I will be seeking additional funding for this scheme”.

“I also take this opportunity to encourage any participants in the 2022 Fodder Support Scheme that received correspondence from my Department to respond promptly to ensure no further delay to their payments.”

The Minister encouraged any farmers with queries in relation to the Fodder Support Scheme to email

Read more

Last chance to submit 2023 Fodder Support Scheme applications

Fodder Support Scheme payments begin for 71,000 farmers