Roughly 2,200 farmers missed out on a place in the Soil Sampling and Analysis Programme, the Department of Agriculture has confirmed.

Around 9,200 farmers applied to phase two of the programme, for which there were 7,000 places.

A statement from the Department said: “As this programme was oversubscribed, a selection process was undertaken as per the terms and conditions of the programme.”

On average, 269 applicants were accepted per county. However, this varied significantly from county to county.

Cork had the highest number of farmers approved, with 1,076. This was followed by Kerry with 638, Mayo with 636 and Galway with 602.

Dublin and Kildare had the lowest number of approvals to the scheme, 27 and 65, respectively.