Following meetings with the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) last week, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue launched a priority approval route for farmers who require either slurry or manure storage facilities or urgent animal welfare-related investments.

Farmers applying for this priority approval must set out clear reasons for seeking priority, with a focus on the urgency of the works, the protection of water quality and animal welfare needs.

Successful applicants must commence works within two months of receiving the priority approval, otherwise the approval will automatically lapse, while no works may commence before written approval is received for the relevant works.

Short time frame

There is an extremely short time frame to send in the letter, with the cut-off time for receiving letters being Friday 15 September at 5pm.

All letters have to be sent to TAMS 3, On-Farm Investment Division, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Johnstown Castle Estate, Wexford, Y35 PN52.

Hand-delivered letters to the Department will not be deemed eligible, therefore it recommends letters be posted before 14 September.

It is not yet known exactly how many farmers will be considered for this priority approval, with a record 8,241 applications submitted under tranche one, with approximately 50% of these being for mobile items.

The timeline for how quickly the applications for priority approval will be screened and successful farmers receiving a confirmation letter is also unknown.

The application letter can be downloaded by clicking here.