Further details on the recently launched Multi-Species Sward Measure were released on Friday 25 March.

These include the terms and conditions of the scheme which has €2m of funding and is targeting the sowing of 12,000ha of multi-species swards and a document with answers to frequently asked questions.

Those interested will have to come to a quick decision on whether or not to submit an application, as there is a short window to apply with the closing date fast approaching on 4 April.

Below is the Department's frequently asked questions.

Q. What is the Multi-Species Sward Measure (MSSM)?

A. The Multi-Species Sward Measure aims to encourage farmers to sow multi-species swards (MSS). The measure will provide a financial contribution to participating co-ops and agri retailers to offset part of the cost that farmers will incur in the purchase of a bag of multi-species sward seed mixtures.

Q. Who can submit an application?

A. A farmer or his/her Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) agent can apply for the measure.

Q. How much will the seed be discounted by?

A. After successful acceptance into the measure, a financial contribution will be made by DAFM of €50 per 12kg bag of MSS grass seed to the participating co-op or agri retailer. The price the approved applicant pays for the seed must exclude the full value of the contribution made by DAFM to the co-op or agri retailer.

Q. Do I have to purchase the same amount of seed I am approved for?

A. No, the Department will make a contribution (through the retailer) up to a maximum of the number of bags of seed approved. If an approved applicant wants to purchase less seed than approved, the discount will be based on the number of 12kg bags actually purchased.

Q. Will I receive a discounted price on bags purchased in excess of the amount I am approved for but less than the maximum eligible?

A. No, while an applicant can purchase additional seed above the amount that they are approved for, they will only receive the discounted price on the approved amount.

Q. Can I choose my own species mix and quantities of seed?

A. No, following extensive consultation, the Department has a set list of plant species and the quantities of each type of seed that must be included in the multi-species swards mixture.

Q. Can I purchase part-bags of seed?

A. No, only 12kg bags of seed can be purchased under the measure.

Q. Where can I purchase the multi-species sward mixture?

A. A list of participating co-op and agri retailers is published on DAFM’s website and updated as appropriate.

Q. Can a farmer who did not submit a 2021/2022 BPS application enter the measure?

A. No, the measure will only accept participants with a valid BPS 2021/2022 application.

Q. How will I know if my application was successful?

A. Letters will be posted to the address associated with the applicant’s BPS application for 2021/2022.

Q. How will I know how much seed I’m approved for?

A. Successful applicants will receive a letter of approval clearly stating the quantity of MSS mixture that they are approved for.

Q. Are partnerships eligible to apply?

A. Farmers in a farm partnership registered with the Department are eligible to apply provided that the application is made in the same name as the partnership’s BPS application for 2021/2022. Land entered will be across the entire partnership holding. All partners are jointly and severally responsible for adhering to the measure’s terms and conditions.

Q. Can partnerships get increased levels of contributions where there are two or more in the partnership?

A. No, each application will be treated as a single entity and the maximum area of 20ha will apply.

Q. Is my information passed on to any other body?

A. To be eligible for this measure, a sales declaration form must be submitted by the approved applicant to the co-op or agri retailer. This document will contain the approved farmer’s name and herd number and quantity of seed approved and purchased.

Q. How long will the application phase be opened?

A. The application process will be open from 25 March 2022 until midnight on 4 April 2022.

Q. When can I buy the seed?

A. Only seed purchased after approval has been issued and before the closing date of 31 August 2022 can be included in this measure to receive the discounted price.

Q. Can a herd number currently in the name “REPS of” apply?

A. No, “REPS of” herd numbers are not eligible to apply.

Q. Can anyone in GLAS or REAP apply?

A. Yes, this measure is open to farmers who are in GLAS or REAP.

Q. How will applicants be selected if the measure is oversubscribed?

A. In the event of eligible applications being received in excess of seed availability for the measure, DAFM may implement a reduction coefficient to the quantities of seed approved as appropriate.

Q. Is commonage land allowed in the measure?

A. No. Commonage land is not eligible for this measure.

Q. Is designated land eligible for this measure?

A. No, land under Natura 2000 or NHA designation is not eligible for the scheme.

Q. What schemes are included as part of the de minimis regulations?

A. The following agriculture de minimis schemes are currently administered by DAFM for this three-year rolling period:

(2022/2021/2020. This list may be added to as additional payments are made under these regulations.)

  • BEEP Payments.
  • BVD Compensation beef.
  • BVD Compensation dairy.
  • Calf Investment Scheme.
  • Financial Assist AI Outbreaks in Poultry.
  • Fodder Measure for Tillage Farmers 2018.
  • Kerry Purebred Cattle Scheme.
  • Sheep EID Tag Subsidy.
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