Equine breeding scheme launched

The 2024 Equine Technical Support and Equine Breeding Scheme was launched last week by Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue. Worth €854,000, the scheme aims to facilitate and support the Irish equine sector to “operate and develop at the highest international standards of breeding, training and research”.

It will provide support to various equine industry projects and Minister McConalogue states he is “committed to the continued support of the equine sector, particularly in the areas of studbooks and breeding, education and research.”

The scheme is comprised of three programme headings:

  • General programme.
  • Training/education programme.
  • Research into equine diseases programme.
  • Applicants must comply with the specific terms and conditions of each programme, and projects must be completed and reported on in late 2024. The closing date for submission for applications is 5pm, on Friday, 22 December 2023. For further information see https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/412da-animal-breeding, contact the Livestock Breeding, Production and Trade Division, Cavan, on 049-4368242, or email ets@agriculture.gov.ie.

    Flood relief for Shannon Callows farmers

    This week, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue announced €800,000 in funding for farmers who have lost fodder due to exceptional flooding in the Shannon Callows.

    The payment outlined will be at a rate of €325/ha and will be paid on a minimum of 1ha and a maximum of 15ha, or a maximum payment of €4,875 per applicant.

    Farmers affected by flooding in the Shannon Callows will be contacted by the Department of Agriculture in the coming weeks, in order to receive applications for aid. The Department explains farmers will be asked to confirm they have lost fodder as a result of the extended flooding.

    Minister McConalogue said: “This year there was exceptionally heavy rainfall in those late summer months, critical to successful harvesting of silage/hay in this environmentally sensitive area. This has left affected farmers in a serious situation, requiring them to purchase additional fodder to maintain animal health and welfare over the winter months. This scheme will assist farmers in this situation.”

    European subsidies for renewables

    The Agra Facts news source reports that the European Commission has approved a €2.4bn Czech scheme, to support the construction and operation of new or converted sustainable biomethane production plants. The biomethane produced will either go in to the natural gas grid, or be delivered to a filling station or dispensing unit, for use in applications such as transport or heating. The scheme will run until 31 December 2025 and is seen to reduce the country’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels.

    The European Commission has announced approval of a €66m Finnish scheme to subsidise the production of renewable methane and methanol. Agra Facts reports that the scheme will be in the form of direct costs, covering investment costs which aim to “foster the transition to a net-zero economy”. It says that payments will be granted on the basis of plans with an estimated capacity volume and budget with funding at a rate of up to 45% of the project’s total investment costs. Grant aid will be allocated before 31 December 2025.