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Articles in Category: Schemes

Deadline for return of 2019 Sheep and Goat Census is fast approaching

on Monday, 03 February 2020. Posted in Schemes

The closing date for receipt of completed 2019 sheep and goat census forms returned by post is Friday 31 January 2020. An extended deadline of up to 23.59 on Friday 14 February 2020 applies to census returns submitted online via Returned census

All completed postal returns must be received by Seefin Data Management at PO Box 17, An Post, Cahirdown, Listowel DSU, Co. Kerry by close of business on Friday 31 January 2020.  This is the only address at which postal returns will be accepted. Forms posted to any other address will not be processed. Pre-addressed return envelopes were provided to all registered keepers with the 2019 census forms issued in early December 2019.

In the event of a 2019 census form being posted but not received by Seefin Data Management, please note the only acceptable proof of postage is a Registered post receipt. A certificate of posting is not sufficient proof of postage.

Online census returns will be accepted until 23.59 on Friday 14 February 2020. Online submissions will continue to be accepted after that time, but such submissions received on or after 15 February 2020 will be deemed to be late.

Online submission of sheep and goat census data is straight-forward and can be done quickly once keepers are registered with

Having logged on to, registered keepers should select Animal Identification and Movements.  (If prompted to select a species), select Sheep (or goats as appropriate), followed by Keeper, then Census and Create. An online version of the 2019 census form for the selected species will then be displayed. The online system provides confirmation when a census submission has been completed successfully

Department welcomes recommendation for National Reserve in 2020

on Friday, 31 January 2020. Posted in Schemes, Courses

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, has today welcomed the recommendation made by the Direct Payments Advisory Committee regarding the continuation of the National Reserve in 2020.

Following consultation between the Department and the Direct Payments Advisory Committee, comprising members of the main farming bodies and agricultural advisory and education providers, provision will now be made for applications to the National Reserve in 2020.  The EU Regulations underpinning the operation of the National Reserve provide for priority access to the mandatory categories of ‘Young Farmer’ and ‘New Entrant to Farming’.  The funding for the National Reserve in 2020 will be met from natural replenishment of the fund without the requirement for a linear cut to the value of all Basic Payment Scheme entitlements.  It is expected that the funding in place for the 2020 National Reserve will be in the region of €3 million, which based on the level of applications in recent years will be sufficient to meet the expected demand.

Successful applicants to the National Reserve receive an allocation of entitlements at National Average value or a top-up to the National Average value on entitlements that are below the national average. 

Full details of the operation of the scheme, including Terms and Conditions, will be available when the scheme opens for online applications in February 2020 to coincide with the opening of online Basic Payment Scheme applications. The closing date for receipt of applications under the scheme will be 15th May 2020.

While the detailed Terms and Conditions of the National Reserve for 2020 will be made available when the schemes launch for online applications in February, it is expected that the terms and conditions will be consistent with those that applied in recent years

Minister Creed announces new Financial Support Scheme for Calf Rearing

on Tuesday, 07 January 2020. Posted in Schemes, Dairy, Beef

The Minister of Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Mr Michael Creed TD, has announced a new Financial Support Scheme for Calf Rearing.

Minister Creed said, “this initiative is one of a series of measures being put in place by stakeholders in advance of the Spring calving season with a view to ensuring the highest possible calf welfare outcomes”.

The Minister confirmed that he was making €1.5 million available in order to fund the scheme.

The primary investment focus in on supporting calf feeding systems such as computerised calf feeders, milk carts with mixer included and calf teat feeders. When a farmer purchases one of these items, they will also be eligible to receive support for the purchase of other items, such as calf milk heaters, calf forage/hay racks, calf meal troughs, calf feed barriers and calf pen dividers.

The Minister said that the minimum investment required is €1,000 ex. VAT, while the maximum investment being proposed will be €7,500 ex. VAT. A 40% grant aid will apply to applications meeting all the terms and conditions of the scheme. (In the event of over-subscription this figure may be reduced). Minister Creed confirmed that applications will open on 7th January 2020. Terms and conditions and the relevant specifications will be available on the DAFM website.

Continuation of DAFM Supports Towards BVD Eradication - Creed

on Monday, 23 December 2019. Posted in Schemes, Dairy, Beef

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., today confirmed the continuation of the supports from his Department for the early removal of PI (persistently infected) calves under the national Bovine Viral Disease (BVD) Eradicatio

Minister Creed expressed his satisfaction with the ongoing progress being made in the eradication of BVD.  The Minister noted that substantial savings were being achieved by farmers, with the incidence of PIs reducing in 2019 to just 0.04% from 0.66% in 2013 – the first year of the compulsory phase of the Eradication Programme.

He said “the DAFM supports were helping the eradication effort and will be further enhanced by the proposed amendment to the existing regulations coming into effect in early 2020 whereby it will now be a legal requirement for all animals born on or before 1 January 2013 to have a known BVD 

Minister Creed confirms commencement of Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) payments

on Tuesday, 17 December 2019. Posted in Schemes, Beef

Minister Creed confirms commencement of Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) payments The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, T.D., today confirmed that payments under the 2019 Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) have commenced to

The Minister stated, “This further, very significant level of payments to farmers in the beef sector under BEAM represents clear recognition by my Department, the Government and the EU of the very challenging and difficult climate that these farmers have had to face in recent years.  These payments are in addition to some €15.4 million under BEEP and €34.4 million in BDGP payments that have already issued in recent weeks, making a total of €125 million to Irish beef farmers. Since September a total of €1.72 billion has now been paid out to Ireland’s farmers under a range of schemes operated by my Department.”

BEAM payments will continue to issue on an ongoing basis as more famers are verified as compliant with the requirements of the Measure.

Doyle announces 2019 payment of advance payments for Organic Farming Scheme

on Tuesday, 10 December 2019. Posted in Schemes, Sheep, Dairy, Beef

Payments for farmers in the Organic Farming Scheme have commenced.

. Payments to the value of approximately €6.1 million have already been made to almost 1,300 farmers, commencing at the end of November. Payments will continue to be made to farmers between now and the end of the year.  

The Minister commented “I am delighted to announce that advance payments commenced ahead of schedule and earlier than last year. The Organic Farming Scheme is one of our most successful schemes under our current Rural Development Programme and it has more than achieved its targets in terms of land converted and maintained for organics.”

The payments to farmers under this scheme mean that since September, DAFM has paid out a total of €1.55 Billion in direct payment to farmers.

Over 75% of applications rejected in Organic Farming Scheme

on Monday, 18 November 2019. Posted in Schemes, Tillage, Sheep, Dairy, Beef

The chairman of the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) Organics Project Team, Nigel Renaghan, is seeking an urgent meeting following the rejection of “over 75%” of applications under the re-opened Organic Farming Scheme (OFS).

Renaghan is seeking a meeting with the Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, Andrew Doyle, to address the issue.

The IFA’s organics chairman said: “This is despite these farmers having full organic registration.

The minister has overseen a flawed process with less than a quarter of applicants accepted into the scheme at a time when we are being lectured about the need for farmers to diversify.

“Only 55 applicants out of 225 that applied in November 2018 were eventually accepted into the scheme, despite meeting the obligations of the scheme since they committed to applying.

“These farmers have been contacted advising them that their application was not successful.

Creed announces extension to closing dates for €20 million Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP)

on Monday, 04 November 2019. Posted in Schemes, Beef

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., today announced the extension of closing dates for participants in BEEP

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., today announced the extension of closing dates for participants in BEEP to weigh their cows and unweaned calves and to submit the data to ICBF. Animals may now be weighed up to and including the 8 November, and weight data is to be submitted to ICBF by 5pm on 15 November.

N & P Statements to 31 August 2019 now available

on Tuesday, 22 October 2019. Posted in Schemes, Dairy, Beef

The Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine has announced that interim Nitrogen and Phosphorus (N&P) Statements for the period January to August 2019 are now available on the Department’s online system

These statements are particularly useful as they allow farmers to plan for the remainder of the year, in order to ensure compliance with the limits of the Nitrates Regulations, thus avoiding penalties for breaching the limit of 170 kgs of Nitrogen per hectare or the 250 kgs of Nitrogen per hectare limit for those who hold an approved derogation.  

Farmers are also reminded that all Nitrate Records Forms for 2019 must be submitted to Nitrates Section before 31 December 2019.

Farmers not already registered for can do so by logging onto and clicking the 'Register' button. To register a mobile phone number for future SMS text alerts, log on to to access the sign-on form.

Andrew Doyle TD welcomes the expenditure allocations announced in Budget 2020

on Monday, 14 October 2019. Posted in Products, Schemes, Property

Against the background of Brexit uncertainly and the overarching requirement for a prudent budget in 2020, expenditure next year will amount to: • €103m for the Forestry Programme, • €6m in capital investment for the commercial horticulture sector, • €16

Against the background of Brexit uncertainly and the overarching requirement for a prudent budget in 2020, expenditure next year will amount to:

  • €103m for the Forestry Programme, 
  • €6m in capital investment for the commercial horticulture sector,
  • €16.8m for Bord na gCon,
  • €12m is being provided for the Organic Farming Scheme and a further €1.2m for development of the Organic Sector.

Forestry €103m

Minister Doyle welcomed the continuation of support for the development of forestry in Ireland with the allocation of €103m (including a capital carryover) for 2020.  

Minister Doyle stated, “this allocation reflects our commitment to planting 8,000 hectares in 2020, an ambitious target contained in the Climate Action Plan. This level of planting will be challenging and will require shared action from the private sector, public bodies and local communities but this Government is committed to achieving it. This budget also provides funding for the direct implementation of a number of other actions under the Climate Action Plan including the mobilisation of the private timber resource in Ireland, a substantial investment in forest roads, continued support for knowledge transfer groups and the promotion of timber products.’’

Minister Creed Announces Commencement of €20m Payments for Year 3 of the Knowledge Transfer Programme

on Monday, 07 October 2019. Posted in Schemes, Sheep, Dairy, Beef

Knowledge Transfer Programme

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, today announced that payments in respect of Year 3 of the Knowledge Transfer Programme have commenced.

The Minister commented “I can confirm that the payments in relation to Year 3 of the Knowledge Transfer Programme have now commenced.  I am pleased to note that these payments are commencing a month earlier than in previous years.”

The Minister added “over the three year lifetime of this programme it has played a central role in helping farmers develop the skills and knowledge which will help them to address sustainability, productivity and competitiveness challenges.  This Programme has also been shown to have significant social benefits for the farming community in addition to providing important financial support.”

Given the structure of the Programme, payments are now rolling out on a sector by sector basis over the coming weeks. Payments for farmers in Equine and Poultry Knowledge Transfer Groups have now issued. Payments for Dairy, Beef, Sheep and Tillage will issue shortly.


on Tuesday, 01 October 2019. Posted in Products, Schemes, Dairy

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Creed launches an Open Call for submissions on the CAP Strategic Plan – SWOT analysis

on Tuesday, 10 September 2019. Posted in Schemes, Courses, Tillage, Sheep, Dairy, Beef

Following on from the latest meeting of the CAP Stakeholder Consultative Committee, The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., has announced his intention to launch an open call for submissions on the CAP Strategic Plan – SWOT

The open call for submissions is part of the CAP post 2020 consultation process, under which each Member State is required to conduct a Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat analysis (SWOT) of the geographic area covered by the CAP Strategic Plan, and to engage with civil society and stakeholders to ensure the SWOT is fully reflective of the situation.

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