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CAP 2023-2027: How is your farm affected?

CAP 2023-2027: How is your farm affected?

On the 1st of January this year, a new five-year CAP period started. Andy Ryder, Drystock Advisor, tells us there are a number of important changes occurring in relation to the distribution of CAP payments that farmers need to know about.

The majority of farmers will have no issue meeting the new requirements, but there will be some farmers that will have to make changes at farm level to be eligible for the new schemes.

Name changes

BPS/Greening (Basic Payment Scheme) is now broken up in to three schemes: BISS (Basic Income Support for Sustainability); ECO (Eco-Scheme); and CRISS (Complementary Redistributive Support for Sustainability). BISS is the new name for entitlements with a lower value due to ECO and CRISS being removed. ECO scheme is worth €70-80/ha and application to join is voluntary. Farmers have to select two actions from a menu of eight actions to get the Eco payment. These actions are selected when making the annual BISS application. CRISS is a front loaded payment of €40/ha paid up to the first 30ha.


Currently, all farmers are at or above 60% of the national average value of entitlements due to convergence in the last CAP period. This CAP period will increase convergence to 85% over the next five years. A lot of farmers in Co. Mayo will benefit from increased value of entitlements. There will also be a portion of farmers that will see their entitlement value fall over the next five years.

Active farmer

There are new requirements in CAP, effective since 01/01/2023, to ensure that farmers that are receiving payments are those that are actually farming. So how can farmers meet these active farmer requirements?

  • Have a minimum livestock of 0.1LU/ha for year;
  • Make hay/silage;
  • Topping;
  • Have equine grazing;
  • Eligible forestry.

Farmers will need receipts to prove they carried out some of these activities. Again, most farmers will automatically meet the requirements, while others will have to change their current system.

Agricultural activity

This is a check by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, at a parcel/field level using AMS (Areal Monitoring System). For parcels to pass the checks:

  1. There needs to be an activity taking place on the parcel;
  2. The applicant responsible for the parcel carries out the activity;
  3. Applicant has a right to the land.

At application stage, farmers need to indicate what activity will occur on their parcels and this will be the basis on how checks will be carried out.

Minimum stocking levels required

There is a minimum of 0.1LU/ha for the year required for the following schemes:

  1. ANC scheme;
  2. Active farmer’s status (if using stock to comply);
  3. Eco Scheme Option 2 (Extensive Livestock production).

Stocking rate coefficients

Dairy cow 1 LU 1-2 year old 0.6LU
Suckler cow 0.8LU 0-1 year old 0.4LU
2 year old male 1 LU       Sheep   0.1LU
2 year old female 0.8LU     Equine 0.8LU

Additional checks before making your BISS application

  • Herd number changes – Get this completed as soon as possible as it takes time and the BISS application is completed online.
  • Land changes – Addition or loss of parcels will effect ECO Scheme, entitlements usage.
  • Entitlements leasing/sales – Needs to be done at application time.

Young Farmers Scheme/National Reserve Application - substantial increase in payments. Ensure existing young farmers reapply again this year and new applicants apply on time.

With margins tight on drystock farms, it is important to complete BISS application correctly to safeguard this crucial source of income.  With a lot of changes this year, it is important to complete this application on time well before the closing date of 29th May 2023.