This year is the first year of the ACRES scheme and many tillage farmers will have chosen to plant catch crops under this scheme. A payment of €173.20/ha is available under the scheme.

Berseem clover.

  • Catch crops can only be planted on land which grew a tillage crop in 2023.
  • The crop cannot be established by using a plough.
  • The minimum area to be planted is 0.5ha.
  • The maximum area for payment on the scheme is 20ha.
  • You cannot undersow the crop with grass.
  • The crop must be planted before 15 September.
  • The crop must remain in-situ until 1 January.
  • After this time light grazing or incorporation of the crop is allowed.
  • Intensive strip grazing or zero grazing is not allowed on crops planted under the scheme.
  • If a watercourse is present on the parcel the Department of Agriculture says that the watercourse must be fenced to 1.5m.
  • The parcel(s) can be rotated each year as long as the same area is planted each year and the parcels are declared on your BISS application.
  • Hedgerows on the parcel should not be cut below 1.8m in height to comply with ACRES rules.
  • Sowing

    The seed mixture must contain at least two species from the list in Table 1.

    One species cannot make up more than 75% of the seed mixture. Full seed rates for each species are also included in the table.

    The Department states that the total amount of seed used must be at least one full seed rate when the percentages of a full seed rate of each species are added up.

    For example, if there are five species in a mix, then 20% of the full seed rate for each species needs to be used. See examples in Table 2.

    Remember to keep your receipts and labels of the seed that you purchase.

    Linseed crop in flower. \ Donal O'Leary

    Other ACRES actions

    You may also put a barn owl box on this parcel if it is an action in your ACRES plan.

    You may also coppice or lay hedgerows on this parcel or carry out minimum-tillage cultivations and traditional dry stone wall maintenance.

  • Catch crops under ACRES must be planted by 15 September.
  • A mix of species needs to be planted.
  • At least two species need to be in the mix.
  • Animals cannot graze a catch crop until 1 January.