Funding of €6.5m has been announced for a dairy beef scheme in 2024, the Department of Agriculture has confirmed.

It is likely to follow the 2023 Dairy Beef Welfare Scheme which opened in March, paying €20 per eligible calf weighed, up to a maximum of 50 calves.

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue also confirmed a number of other measures listed below:

  • Total supports for beef and sheep sectors of over €100m, including previously announced funding of €200/cow and €20/ewe.
  • Over €700m in funding in 2024 for agri-environment initiatives.
  • Higher rate of TAMS grant (70%) for new tanks for those importing slurry.
  • New separate TAMS investment ceiling for slurry storage tanks.
  • Accelerated capital allowances on slurry storage continued.
  • €8m in targeted support for tillage farmers.
  • Key agri-taxation supports secured and land leasing targeted at active farmers.
  • Expanding ACRES to accommodate the full 50,000 participants promised under the CAP strategic plan.
  • Schemes for soil sampling and multi-species swards.
  • €57m allocation to support organic farmers.
  • €110m in funding provided to drive ambitions of the forestry programme.
  • €5m funding for the genotyping programme.
  • Research and development funding of more than €22m, in addition to support for Teagasc and the Marine Institute.
  • Continued support for coastal communities through investment in fisheries, harbours and community piers.
  • €8m for capital investment in the food sector.
  • €14.35m to support the national strategy for horticulture
  • Continued support for State agencies supporting the agri-food and fisheries sectors.
  • Confirming the measures, Minister McConalogue said that the budget supports the sector’s environmental ambition and on-farm sustainability, while at the same time supporting farmer incomes.

    Nitrates and the environment

    The €700m for nitrates and the environment has been secured to support farm families in their efforts to tackle the challenges of climate, biodiversity and water quality in 2024, the Minister said.

    To support farmers in their efforts to improve water quality through investment in on-farm nutrient storage and in the context of dealing with the nitrates derogation changes, a number of new Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS 3) measures are being developed by the Minister.

    “I will engage with the European Commission to secure changes to the TAMS 3 investment aid scheme to allow the introduction of a separate investment ceiling for all farmers building additional storage facilities on farm, beyond regulatory compliance.

    “This support will be available at the prevailing rates of 40% and 60% (young farmers/female farmers). In addition, and in support of water quality and efficient nutrient use, I will seek approval to introduce a dedicated support measure to provide 70% support for manure storage facilities on farms importing livestock manure under a contract relationship,” he said.

    To further assist farmers in this space, the Minister will continue support for the soil sampling scheme and the multi-species sward scheme.

    The Minister will shortly open a further phase of this work with the ambition of supporting the taking and analysis of up to 90,000 samples over the next 12 to 18 months.


    Funding for the Agri-Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES) has been increased by €40m, bringing the total allocation for the scheme to €200m for 2024.

    Commenting on this increased allocation, the Minister said: “The level of interest in ACRES demonstrated that farmers are clearly making a positive contribution in addressing a range of climate, biodiversity and environmental issues.

    "After the unprecedented demand for places in tranche one of ACRES, I am delighted to announce that tranche two of the scheme will open for applications in the next few weeks.

    "This will allow us to deliver on the Government’s commitment to have 50,000 farmers participating in the flagship environmental programme under Ireland’s 2023-2027 CAP plan.”


    Minister McConalogue also confirmed that Budget 2024 will provide an allocation of €57m for the Organic Farming Scheme.

    Commenting, Minister of State with responsibility for land use and biodiversity Senator Pippa Hackett said: “I have implemented a range of policy measures to increase participation in organic farming.

    "Since I took office, we have doubled the number of organic farmers. Today’s budget contains €57m for organic farming, a 50% increase to help achieve our ambitious goal in the climate action plan of 10% of agricultural land under organic production by 2030. I look forward to announcing the opening of the next phase of the scheme shortly."

    Forestry programme

    Announcing forestry funding, the Minister confirmed that €110m is being allocated for forestry next year.

    The overall funding of €1.3bn committed to the new national forestry programme for the period 2023-2027 represents the largest-ever investment by an Irish government in tree planting.

    It has been designed to incentivise farmers to the greatest extent possible to engage with tree planting as an alternative income stream through generous 100% establishment grants, significantly increased annual premia over an extended 20-year period and a tax-free asset on maturity. In addition, farmers can continue to receive their basic payment on land which is also planted.

    “The latest scheme to launch is very innovative and important to highlight - the Native Tree Area Scheme under the programme, which could suit many farmers wishing to try out planting on a small scale.

    "This scheme allows farmers to create small native forests or native forests for water protection of up to two hectares per holding, with grant and annual premium payments over a 10-year period totalling more than €22,000 per hectare.”

    Minister McConalogue confirmed that those farmers and landowners who have been affected by ash dieback will be supported through the national forestry programme following receipt by Minister Hackett of the report of the independent review group.

    Minister Hackett said: “Forestry is at the heart of this agriculture budget, with an allocation of €110m to enable us to vigorously pursue our planting and climate change goals in line with our new forestry programme.

    "My department is currently working on some outstanding state aid issues in relation to the recommendations of the independent review on ash dieback. When this work is complete, I will publish an implementation plan.

    "Any expenditure implications arising will be considered in the context of the ongoing rollout of the forestry programme.”


    Minister Hackett confirmed the allocation of a total package of €14.35m to support the national strategy for horticulture for 2024.

    Of this, €3m has been allocated to provide advance payments to producer organisations under the EU-funded scheme for the fruit and vegetables sector.

    Research and development

    Minister of State with responsibility for farm safety, research and development and new market development Martin Heydon TD said: “I will continue to build on efforts to improve farmers' safety, health and wellbeing with a dedicated fund of €2.5m in 2024.

    "This fund will be used to extend the range of initiatives currently undertaken to improve farm safety and wellness among the farming community.

    “The area of research and development is also a key focus for me. I am delighted to have secured an additional €2m in funding for this area, bringing my Department’s research budget to €22.45m.

    "This will be used to drive greater innovation in our agriculture and food sectors as we position Irish agriculture as a leader in sustainable food production.”

    Minister McConalogue committed to continue funding for European Innovation Partnership (EIP) projects under Ireland’s CAP strategic plan 2023-2027.

    Agri-taxation measures

    Referring to the agri-taxation package announced in the budget, McConalogue said that it will be a key driver of agriculture policy in 2024 and be of direct benefit to Irish farmers.

    “We have a taxation policy that supports the transfer of land to the next generation and we, as a Government, are committed to protecting this at all costs.

    "I welcome the announcement by Minister McGrath to defer the residential zoned land tax (RZLT) today. This was an important request of mine for this budget to provide active farmers an opportunity to engage with the process and seek a dezoning of their land if they so wish,” he said.

    Land leasing

    Minister McConalogue also welcomed the amendments of the long-term land leasing explaining the benefit to active farmers.

    “Minister McGrath has agreed with my proposal to restrict the relief so that it does not become immediately available to the purchasers of land, ie that the relief will only become available when the land had been owned for seven years.

    "This focuses the relief on genuine farmers, reduces the likelihood of speculation, while protecting the support for farmers engaged in long-term lease arrangements.

    “I also welcome the renewal of the both the stamp duty consanguinity relief on transfers of farmland. Further to this, farmers can also continue to avail of accelerated capital allowances for slurry storage, a measure which will be available for another two years.

    “These taxation supports align very closely with my Department’s policies in support of farmers to improve their environmental sustainability, generational renewal and farm safety.

    "The renewal of the consanguinity relief for an additional five years promotes and encourages the lifetime transfer of farms, thereby enhancing generational renewal in the sector,” he said.

    Minister Heydon added: “I welcome the extension of the accelerated capital allowances for the wear and tear of farm safety equipment.

    "The wear and tear allowances for machinery or plant are generally given over an eight-year period at an annual rate of 12.5% of the capital expenditure incurred.

    "However, this measure, introduced in 2021, provides for capital allowances of 50% per annum to be claimed over an accelerated two-year period where a person holds a qualifying certificate in respect of eligible equipment.”

    He added: “Farm succession is a significant factor in farm safety and we must support the present and future generation of farmers. I therefore welcome the extension of critical tax reliefs which encourage the lifetime transfer of farms in addition to increased lifetime relief thresholds.”