Over 5,000 unsuccessful applicants to the Results-Based Environment-Agri Pilot (REAP) received letters from the Department of Agriculture this week providing feedback.

The letters follow correspondence sent to successful applicants a few days earlier and detailed how the application performed on the three criteria used. These criteria are as follows:

  • Farm intersection with priority water areas.
  • Proportion of Natura land on holding.
  • Proportion of ANC land on holding.
  • Each measure had a maximum score of 25 points each with a pass mark of 50 points set for an application to be considered for entry. So, all applications which scored over 50 points were approved. This did not fill the allocated places but including all applicants who scored exactly 50 points exceeded the number of applications permitted. Therefore, the selection of farmers scoring exactly 50 points for approval was completed by using a computerised random selection process.

    Review request

    The letters also state that farmers who are not satisfied with the decision can request a review. This request must be completed in writing by post or by email including documentation to support the review. Where this route is being selected, applicants are advised to act promptly.

    Farmers who have been approved entry to the pilot project and no longer wish to continue must opt out by 25 June 2021. This request must again be submitted in writing to the REAP section in Johnstown Castle.

    Next steps

    The Department of Agriculture has held adviser training this week and last week while the IT facilities for advisers to complete the required scorecards and submit documentation is being finalised.

    Scorecard assessments for Low-Input Grassland (LIG) need to be completed by 31 July while scorecard assessments for the Multispecies Ley option must be completed by 15 August. It is worth reminding farmers considering of availing of the €50/ha top up for late cutting of LIG meadows that these meadows cannot be cut until 1 July.