Figures obtained from the Department of Agriculture show €1.74bn paid out across the various agri-schemes in 2023. The table on the right gives detail of scheme payments by county, which quickly highlights the importance of certain schemes to each region.

As can be readily seen, the Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS) is of the greatest importance, with payments to-date totalling almost €660m. The first year of the new CAP Strategic Plan is quickly reflected in the fact that the previous Basic Payment Scheme is now split in to payments across BISS, the Eco Scheme and the Complementary Redistributive Income Support for Sustainability (CRISS). When combined, payments total almost €1.04bn.

The last column on the second table shows the total payment across all schemes. Farmers in Cork drew down the highest level of payments, at almost €189m. This is over €45m ahead of the next closest county, Galway, with payments of almost €143m. It highlights the high level of agricultural activity in Cork and significant dairy and suckler herds and sheep flock.

The breakdown of schemes by county show how important schemes, such as the Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme and Beef Welfare scheme, are to farmers in the west of the country and, likewise, the value of tillage schemes to farmers in the east of the country.

It should be noted that with regard to payments under the Agri-Climate Rural Environment Scheme, the figures do not paint a clear picture of payments per county, as there is still a significant number of farmers in ACRES general to receive payment and in the region of 18,000 farmers to receive payment in ACRES Co-operation.

Interestingly, there are significant payments under organic farming in most counties, but it is clear that there has been greater uptake in suckler and sheep strongholds.