A €1,000/ha support scheme for tillage farmers with unharvested crops has been announced by Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue.
The Unharvested Crop Support Scheme is now available to all growers who were unable to harvest cereal crops due to wet weather in September and October 2023.
Eligible unharvested cereal crops are crops of barley, oats, wheat and rye declared by the farmer on their 2023 Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS) application that remain unharvested on the closing date for applications under this scheme.
The minimum eligible area for payment is 2ha and the maximum eligible area for payment is 20ha, meaning farmers with up to 20ha of unharvested crops could receive €20,000 under the scheme.
The closing date for applications under this scheme is close of business on Friday 24 November 2023. Payments under the scheme will be made in January 2024.
Financial assistance for the Unharvested Crop Support Scheme is being made available from the €8m once-off Ukraine related funding provided in Budget 2024 for the tillage sector.
The Department of Agriculture has said the fund “represents a 100% top-up to the €7.147m allocated under the EU Agricultural Reserve which was announced in early October”.
Minister McConalogue said that in light of the significant challenges being faced by the tillage sector in 2023, he has approved the additional funding.
“The additional funding will be used for a targeted scheme to support tillage growers who were unable to harvest cereal crops due to wet weather in September and October.
"The funding will also provide for an increased payment per hectare to eligible growers on top of the payment that I announced under the EU Agricultural Reserve in October.”
Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) grain chair Kieran McEvoy welcomed news of the support payments for growers with unharvested crops.
“Growers will be eligible for up to €20,000 in aid payments for crops which were unable to be harvested due to the very unsettled weather conditions in September and October,” he said.
The IFA said that its grain committee representatives worked tirelessly to identify growers throughout the country who had unharvested crops. This national data was then submitted to the Department of Agriculture.