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4.5m tonnes of lime sought under National Liming Programme

4.5m tonnes of lime sought under National Liming Programme

Farmers have shown huge interest in the new National Liming Programme, with 4.5m tonnes sought by 41,000 farmers before the programme’s deadline on 20th April.

With support in respect of over 4.5m tonnes of lime sought, the average tonnage sought per applicant under the programme is just over 111 tonnes.

At a rate of €16/tonne, this would require a budget of more than €72m if all lime sought were approved and claimed by farmers. Annual tonnage of lime applied nationally in recent years, including on those farms ineligible under the scheme, has ranged from 700,000 tonnes to 1.3 million tonnes.

Commenting on the level of interest in the Programme, Minister Charlie McConalogue said he will now assess how to best to step forward in light of the enormous demand.

“The innovative and pioneering National Liming Programme has been a huge success and underlines clearly how engaged farmers are in soil fertility and reducing their chemical fertiliser usage.

"I very much welcome how farmers have engaged with this new programme and the fact applications are well ahead of farming norms – this is a tremendous show of environmental strength by farmers. I want to see how best we can step this forward to ensure as much lime as possible can be spread this year.”

Due to this unprecedented level of demand for the National Liming Programme, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has confirmed that, in line with the programme’s Terms and Conditions, it will have to limit approvals to stay within the allocated budget for the Programme. The Department will be communicating directly with each applicant in due course.

Also read: Caution advised as soil fertility levels remain stable in 2022