The list of items included under the impending Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS) III confirms farmer fears regarding investments under the Low Emission Slurry Spreading (LESS) equipment and Dairy Equipment Scheme (DES) heading, but there are upwards of 50 new items included.

Cattle underpasses are included, as expected, and have a reference cost of €5,000 per linear metre.

Farm roadways will also be a welcome addition and these are costed at €24.90/m. There were calls for bovine fencing to be included and this is now confirmed, with electric fencing costed at €2.77/m.

Solar electric fencing units are also included (€634 reference cost) along with gateways at €361.04.

Dairy equipment

The listing includes the items and reference costs but information has not been provided yet as to the specification required for items or information regarding any limitations surrounding farm size.

This is particularly relevant to dairy equipment, where there have been discussions around limiting grant aid to herds with fewer than 120 cows (or 160 cows for partnerships and young farmers).

The range of investments under the DES will be regarded by many as limited.

Cluster units (€3,434.10) for new machines or extension to milking facilities are included, along with a robotic milking machine costed at €109,250.

Backup PTO generators are included in this listing along with milk storage and cooling equipment, water heating and energy saving investments and milk recording equipment.

Trailing shoe omitted

The contentious decision to omit dribble bars is confirmed in the document, with only trailing shoe/shallow injection equipment included.

New items included under LESS are an inlet chopper (new or retrofit) priced at €3,500 and a flow meter to a new or existing tank (€3,251). Umbilical systems are also included but again with trailing shoe or shallow injection attachments.

Focus on potatoes

The Department’s aim of growing the tillage area is seen in a number of new listings, with equipment for the growing, harvesting and processing of potatoes and beet included.

For potatoes, there is equipment for planting, harvesting, handling and storing potatoes, while beet cleaners are also included.

Straw choppers and pea headers for combines tie in with the Straw Incorporation Scheme and Coupled Support for Protein Aid, while there is also grant aid for equipment targeted at minimum cultivation and pesticide reduction.

Organics and equine investments

The Department’s focus on increasing the area of land farmed organically is also clear to be seen, with a wide range of investments and higher reference costs and grant aid of 60%.

The ‘women farmer’ capital investment scheme entry route is also new, as is the inclusion of equine investments.

There is an extensive listing included and this ranges from equine housing to training facilities and fencing.

See next week's Irish Farmers Journal for full details and analysis of the new investment list.