Private agricultural advisers have been told by the Agricultural Consultants Association (ACA) to down tools this week in protest over what they say are unmanageable knowledge transfer (KT) scheme deadlines.

The ACA has written to the Department of Agriculture seeking more leniency with the terms and conditions of the scheme.

By 31 March, advisers must have completed all one-to-one KT meetings with farmers, which are to last two hours each, but they are limited to hosting just two meetings per day.

The scheme is worth €750 per farmer per year.

ACA president Noel Feeney described the deadline for the €71.1m scheme as “totally unworkable” and is demanding that the deadline be extended.

Donegal-based adviser Brian Dolan described the last 15 months as “chaotic”, as advisers grapple with new schemes and deadlines.

A crunch meeting between advisers and the Department is to take place this week on the issue.