Applications to the Department of Agriculture for Registered Farm Partnerships (RFP) are accepted and processed all year round. It is important to note that if an applicant wishes to have their RFP number in time for the 2024 BISS deadline, then applications, including all accompanying documentation, must be received by the Farm Partnerships Unit by Friday, 10 February.

The Department of Agriculture has notified all agricultural advisers and wishes to inform those intending to apply for inclusion on the Department’s Farm Partnership Register that it has transitioned to a paperless system for all RFP applications. The dedicated email address for RFP applications and accompanying documentation is The email address for general queries is

The Department explains: “All of the main farming enterprises can enter a Registered Farm Partnership: dairying, beef, tillage, sheep and other enterprises such as horticulture, pigs, poultry and goats. There is no transfer of ownership as part of the partnership agreement. When forming a farm partnership all lands and assets – such as production rights, entitlements under the Basic Income Support for Sustainability Scheme and other Department schemes – are licensed to the farm partnership. This licence can be built into the written partnership agreement”.

Further information, application forms etc can be found at

Extended QA deadline concerns 1,517 farmers

There have been some queries following last week’s reminder on the extended deadline of 22 January 2024 for farmers participating in the Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP) to become a member of the Bord Bia Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme (SBLAS). One of the main queries relates to the number of farmers concerned. Bord Bia reports that 1,517 SCEP applicants had applied to join the SBLAS before the deadline of 16 October 2023. These farmers must be a member of SBLAS by 22 January 2024, or they will face expulsion from the scheme. In excess of 1,400 farmers were removed from the scheme following the 16 October deadline, as they had failed to secure membership of SBLAS or apply to join the scheme.

Bord Bia reports that they processed 9,863 new applications to SBLAS in 2023 with a significant number of these linked to the new SCEP.

Final call for winter planting survey

Teagasc is urging tillage farmers to complete the winter planting survey in the coming days if they have not already done so. The survey will help to estimate the area of winter cereals planted across the country, as well as the area which has not emerged. The survey only takes about three minutes to complete and will help to guide advice coming from the advisory body in the coming weeks and months.

Forestry Technology Scheme

Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett, announced last week that applications for the second tranche of the Forest Technology Scheme are now open. The tranche, titled Module 2 – Investment Aid for the Development of the Forest Tree Nursery Sector, offers funding of up to €250,000 to nurseries for capital investments in specialised equipment for native forest tree production.

The minister said: “We have ambitious targets for tree planting, backed up by our €1.3bn Forestry Programme. This funding will support the forest tree nursery sector to deliver high-quality native trees at scale for forest owners.”

The minister added that the scheme is open to seed and tree suppliers of all sizes, from smaller operations to established nurseries. It is also available to new entrants to the sector seeking to diversify their business.

The types of projects and items eligible for funding may include the following:

  • Seed collection equipment.
  • Seed storage infrastructure.
  • Polytunnel infrastructure/equipment.
  • Irrigation systems and infrastructure.
  • Transplanting systems.
  • Grading machines.
  • Biosecurity investments such as water treatment and refrigeration equipment.
  • General costs linked to items above
  • Cost of native tree species seed.
  • The closing date for applications is 26 February 2024. Further information on how to apply is available on the Department’s website.