The CAP Strategic Plan 2023-2027 comes in to effect on 1 January 2023.

Some elements of the CAP programme for the next five years have already come in to play – namely two tranches for submitting applications for the Agri-Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES) and the Organic Farming Scheme (OFS).

The Sheep Improvement Scheme is also open for applications and will close at 11.59pm on 9 January 2023.

There are many changes to schemes which we have become accustomed to over the last seven years and as such it is important for farmers to be aware of when schemes are due to open and close and leave adequate time to come to terms with any changes.

Table 1 details the main scheme opening and closing dates for the first half of 2023. Schemes which are applied for in tandem with the old Basic Payment Scheme application will open around mid-February 2023 and close for applications on 15 May 2023.

The Basic Payment Scheme is changing significantly with the introduction of the Basic income Support for Sustainability (BISS), eco schemes and the Complementary Redistributive Income Support for Sustainability (CRISS). These are new concepts and will take time to become accustomed to.

The application process for these components also incorporate application for the Areas of Natural Constraint, Straw Incorporation Measure and annual declarations for the young farmers scheme, ACRES and OFS.

The new Complementary Income Support for Young Farmers (CIS-YF) replaces the current Young Farmers Scheme and offers a significantly higher support package with payments set at €170/ha up to a maximum of 50ha. Payments are also no longer linked to entitlement values and instead are paid on eligible forage hectares.

Entitlement trading

The trading of entitlements and development of lease agreements will require close attention due to the impact of BISS, eco schemes and CRISS on entitlement values.

The window for applying for the transfer of entitlements runs from early March to 15 May.

The National Reserve Scheme will continue under the next CAP and offer eligible applicants the chance to gain entitlements or a top-up of payments for entitlements held below the national average.

The Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme replaces the Beef Data and Genomics Programme and will run in largely the same format for the next five years.

The National Dairy Beef Scheme will remain in place for another year and this scheme offers payment of €20 for the submission of weights to a maximum payment on 40 calves.

Fodder support scheme

Farmers have already received an advance payment of the 2023 Fodder Support Scheme.

This payment was based on the areas submitted for payment under the 2022 Fodder Support Scheme.

The online portal will open from the end of May 2023 to early July, giving farmers an opportunity to amend the area declared for payment.

The new Knowledge Transfer Programme will open for expressions of interest in May. Preliminary checks and the new Area Monitoring System will begin in June 2023 and run until October 2023.

The Beef Welfare Scheme will open in late July and close in Early September 2023.