The new national liming programme 2023 opened for applications this week.

The scheme will pay farmers €16/t to offset the cost of buying and spreading lime.

The Department of Agriculture has published a list of frequently asked questions and answers.

Q: What is the national liming programme 2023?

A: This programme aims to incentivise farmers to purchase and spread calcium ground limestone/magnesium ground limestone, in accordance with the lime requirement stated in the soil analysis report.

The programme will provide a financial contribution of €16 to participating farmers per tonne of lime delivered and spread on their holding.

Q: How can I apply for the liming programme?

A: Applicants (or their advisers) must complete an online application form on, the Department’s online service, by selecting the 'Ag Schemes Expression of Interest' and then national liming programme 2023.

Q: Are all farmers eligible to apply?

A: No. Farmers that availed of a nitrates derogation in 2022 or 2023 and farmers with a grassland stocking rate above 170kg livestock manure nitrogen/ha prior to export in 2022 are not eligible to participate in this programme, as liming is a mandatory minimum requirement on these farms.

Q: Are all land areas eligible to be included in the scheme?

A: No. The following areas are excluded from the scheme:

  • Commonage land.
  • Forestry.
  • Lands under natura 2000.
  • Natural heritage areas (NHA) and proposed NHAs.
  • Annex 1 grassland and environmentally sensitive permanent grassland.
  • Q: Are herdowners participating in the 2023 soil sampling and liming eco-scheme measure eligible to apply?

    A: No. Herdowners who are participating or intend to participate in the 2023 eco scheme practice relating to soil sampling and liming are not eligible to participate in this programme given this action would be already supported under that measure.

    Q: What are minimum and maximum amounts of lime that can be subsidised under the programme?

    A: Payment will only be made on valid claims relating to a minimum of 10t of ground limestone and a maximum of 200t.

    Q. What are the criteria to qualify?

    A: (a) Applicants that have submitted a Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) application in 2022 and/or a Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS) application in 2023 are eligible to apply.

    (b) Must have soil test reports for the land (within the last four years from the date of purchase) that indicate a lime requirement.

    Q: How do I know if I am approved for the scheme?

    A: A letter of approval will issue to each successful applicant confirming the tonnage approved after all applications have been assessed.

    Q: Can I purchase lime before receiving the approval letter?

    A: Yes. Ground limestone invoiced and paid for on or after the date of submission of a valid application is eligible for consideration under the scheme. However, applicants should be aware that there is no certainty that the full quantity of lime applied for will be approved.

    Q: Will all lime delivered and spread be grant aided?

    A: In the event of eligible applications being received in excess of the available budget, the Department may reduce the tonnage of ground limestone to be approved per applicant as appropriate. The letter of approval will indicate the tonnage approved. Therefore, expenditure incurred prior to receipt of the letter of approval is entirely at the applicant’s own risk.

    Q: Where can I purchase lime?

    A: The ground limestone must be purchased directly from a licenced quarry. A list of licenced quarries is available here.

    Q: How do I apply for payment?

    A: To receive payment, approved applicants must upload invoices showing the date, the quantity of ground limestone purchased and the cost per tonne. Invoices may be lodged from the date the claim system is available on Agfood until 31 October 2023.

    Q: How many claims can be submitted?

    A: One claim per approved applicant will be allowed to be submitted, with a maximum of five invoices.

    Q: Are partnerships eligible to apply?

    A: Partnerships can apply, but will be limited to one application per partnership irrespective of the number of partners and subject to the maximum eligible 200t.

    Q: When will payments issue?

    A: Payments will be made towards the end of 2023 after BISS areas have been finalised to allow cross-checks to be carried out to exclude any non-eligible land.

    Q: Is there a maximum application rate of ground limestone per hectare?

    A: Yes. The maximum eligible application rate is 7.5t per hectare. However, ground limestone can only be applied in accordance with the lime requirement stated on up-to-date soil analysis reports (maximum of four years old from the date of purchase).