A specific scheme is needed for tillage farmers, according to IFA grain chair Kieran McEvoy.

He acknowledged that some farmers are not happy with the Tillage Incentive Scheme (TIS), but stated that it is a starting point on the road to increase the tillage area in the country.

He stated that there needs to be a serious policy change to increase the tillage area and, very importantly, to keep land currently under tillage in the sector.

Existing farmers

“We need to support existing tillage farmers. We’re already in a predicament with land,” he commented.

The Laois man explained how tillage farmers will be hit badly by convergence and front-loading under the new CAP and said while this €10m is welcome, to increase the area, tillage farmers need support.

“We need a specific tillage scheme. We need to sit down and draw up a specific tillage scheme with the Department [of Agriculture]. We have looked for that. The Straw Incorporation Measure and the Protein Aid Scheme have helped, but much more needs to be done,” McEvoy said.