Some 10,217ha of land will be sown to multispecies swards this year under the Department of Agriculture’s €2m multispecies sward measure.

This is short of the 12,000ha target set out by the Department when the scheme was launched.

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has said that a total of 1,715 applications were received for the measure, which closed for applications on 14 April.

“This resulted in 1,691 approvals being issued covering an area of 10,217ha.

“A very small number of applicants, 24 in total, were ineligible, principally for not meeting the minimum application area of 1ha as set out in the terms and conditions,” he said in response to a parliamentary question from Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy.

“Participating co-ops/agri-retailers are applying a discount of €50 for each 12kg bag of the approved multispecies seed mixture purchased by approved applicants,” the minister said.

Fodder scheme

Separately, the Department of Agriculture has revealed that 14,186 applications have been submitted to the Fodder Support Scheme as of last week.

The highest level of applications have been submitted by farmers in the west of the country, which is not surprising given that dairy farmers with a milk supply contract are not eligible to apply and tillage lands are ineligible.

The scheme, which offers payment for fodder saved in a one- or two-cut system, opened for applications initially on 17 June, with farmers with Category 1 lands under the Areas of Natural Constraint permitted to apply from 23 June.

The closing date for applications is 2 August 2022 and only forage conserved by 5 September is eligible.

For a county breakdown of applications, click here.