The tillage strand of the TAMS II, known as the Tillage Capital Investment Scheme (TCIS), enters its fourth year of operation and continues to deliver for farmers. The TCIS has helped modernise many tillage production systems, through supporting the investment in new farm machinery, technology and infrastructure on tillage farms. In many cases, this has improved labour and resource efficiencies and helped increase the competitiveness of the sector.

We run through the latest TCIS figures from the scheme, as well as farmers’ top 10 investments in 2019. In total, 2,952 applications have been received for TCIS, with 842 applications received in 2019 alone. Of these applications, 439 have been received from Young Farmers. Young Farmers can avail of 60% grant aid on an €80,000 investment. So far, a total of 2,524 approvals have been issued for applications to TCIS, with an estimated value of nearly €31m. Applications for the latest tranche of all TAMS II schemes were due to close on 24 April, but this has now been extended to 6 June.

We take a closer look at a closed transfer system for filling sprayers and ask if it is worthy of inclusion on the list of items eligible for funding. We also have a talk with Prof. Lowenberg-DeBoer of Harper Adams University about the key factors that must be considered before investing in new equipment.

The majority of the feedback on the TCIS from farmers is good, however, as with any scheme, there are some problems. Pat O’Toole runs through some of the main frustrations farmers are experiencing in the TCIS. One of these concerns surrounds farmers who didn’t gain approval in the last tranche. Some of these farmers are re-applying, but reducing their costings to increase their ranking points, raising their likelihood of securing grant aid. However, this decreases the value of the grant.