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Funding and Schemes

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Breeding & Related Schemes (H.S.I.)

Details of funding supports available through Horse Sport Ireland (H.S.I.) are available here 


Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS)

Some of the familiar CAP Direct Payment schemes have changed names from Jan 1 2023, but have similarities to previous schemes, including: Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and Greening Payment Scheme become the Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS)

BISS continues to be paid based on Payment Entitlements, for which an eligible hectare is held by an applicant, with all values below the average converging to 85% of the national average by 2026. Each year, farmers select the annual schemes they want to participate in and select which actions they will carry out on their eligible hectares. Applications for BISS must be made online each year. BISS is the first step to access other schemes. It is not necessary to have entitlements to make an application.

Access to other schemes such as ECO Scheme (Environment Scheme); Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS); Complementary Income Support for Young Farmers (CIS-YF) (previously Young Farmer Scheme); Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) and so on all starts with a BISS (previously BPS) application. 

Read more about BISS here

An individual farmer can submit their own BISS application upon registering on agfood.ie, or they can recruit an agent/advisor to act on their behalf. A list of approved FAS Advisors is available here

2024 BISS (to receive payment on entitlements), and other area related schemes application (i.e. ECO, ANC, ACRES,CIS-YF) is open until May 15th 2024. Penalties apply to late applications. However, a late BISS application to access TAMS only, and no other area related scheme should remain possible.

To make an application the applicant must

  • be a holder of a registered herd number (equine premises number); and
  • be an Active Farmer. There are different ways an applicant can satisfy the “active farmer check”, such as: meeting a minimum stocking level of 0.10 livestock units per hectare (an equine over six months of age = 0.8 L/U), the training of horses and the rearing of bloodstock or other farming activities e.g. producing crops, cutting hay/silage, topping, maintaining landscape features, etc.
  • complete the Equine Census if not already completed in 2022 here. The equine Census remains open for keepers to submit 2022 data. 

If an individual declares they are 'not active' on the BISS application they are not allowed to apply for any of the schemes that fall under BISS (CRISS/ ANC/ ECO/ Organics/ SIM/ Protein/ ACRES/ CISYF

If it is the first time to apply for BISS (i.e no prior BPS application) DAFM may not hold information on your herd and you need to use the application to inform DAFM how you will mee the Active Farmer requirements

Take care that the Equine Premises Registration Number/Herd number is in the name that will carry out the enterprise under BISS (i.e. matches to the name associated with the land).

Eligible Hectare

2023 also saw the introduction of 'Eligible Hectare' as the basis of payment for area based payments under BISS, CRISS, Eco Schmes and ANC. Applicants must have control of the declared lands (owned, leased-in, rented-in) and must be subject to agricultural activity throughout the 2023 calendar year. Lands must be 'at the disposal' of the applicant and used for agricultural activity. Agricultural land is arable land, permananet crops, permanent pasture, along with agroforestry systems. 

Land area for stocking calculations

Stocking density area is defined as the area available for grazing. This can be calculated via the following: Parcel Area minus both Ineligible Features (roads, buildings, waterbodies) and minus Beneficial Features (scrub, rock, trees, woodland, and habitat). This value may differ from the eligible hectare value. 

More information on eligible hectare and land area for stocking calculations here

Land Parcel Identification and Maps

As part of the BISS application process digital maps are used to identify each land parcel that DAFM has marked on their iNet system. If you are not on the system already maps of the farm will need to be created on iNET. Land Parcel Identification Numbers will have to be allocated to parcels as a starting point. Ensure ALL parcels are mapped, particularly where a farmyard is separate to the land ensure it is ALSO mapped. Talk to your advisor about this. 

Checks and Balances

Validations, compliance checks and potential penalties should be kept in mind and understood. Read the BISS terms and conditions and the terms and conditions of any scheme you are applying for carefully beforehand and discuss with your advisor. 

Further Information

Articles with some further guidance: 

Today Farm March April 2023 BISS

Preparing for BISS application 2024

DAFM BISS press release 2024

Other resources:

DAFM Information Webinar Land Eligibility


Conditionality

To receive a payments previously under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) a variety of regulations on the environment, climate change, good agricultural condition of land, public, animal, plant health and animal welfare must have been followed.  This system was known as Cross Compliance. Cross Compliance/ Greening is now known as Conditionality.

Conditionality sets the baseline requirements for those in receipt of CAP payments, and replaces the “cross compliance” requirements in the previous CAP. Conditionality relates to the climate and the environment, public health, animal health and plant health, and animal welfare.

The conditionality requirements are implemented in two ways:

  1. Statutory Management Requirements (SMRs) - these refer to the legislative requirements concerning the environment, food safety, animal and plant health, and animal welfare. These are laid down in legislation and are applicable to all farmers - not just those participating in CAP interventions.
  2. Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition (GAEC) - these refer to a range of standards concerning soil, climate change mitigation, habitats, and water. There are nine GAECs in the agreed Regulation. These apply to all farmers receiving CAP support and have been tailored to Ireland based on farm size, farm structures and the specific characteristics of the areas concerned, including soil and climatic condition, existing farming systems and land use (Article 13 CSP Regulation). Importantly also now under GAEC 8 there is a requirement to have and maintain at least 4% of the agriculture area as non-productive areas or landscape features (hedgerows, drains, stone walls, ponds (<0.2ha); trees in a line; or national monuments). Hedgerow removal is only allowed in exceptional circumstances with a new hedge of twice the removal length planted in advance. No cutting hedges/ tress during the bird breeding and rearing season. 

Read more here


ECO Scheme

The Eco-scheme is a new (in 2023) environmental scheme applied for through the BISS application. Note that this scheme is in no way linked to ACRES, which is a completely separate scheme. 

To apply for the ECO scheme, either two agricultural practices from a list of eight or a single enhanced agricultural practice on all eligible hectares must be selected. Many farmers will qualify outright for the ECO scheme, based on the presence of enough area under habitats or features that promote biodiversity on their holdings, such as hedgerows, stone walls, watercourses etc. Some farms may have to select additional measures to meet the requirement of two agriculture practices in order to secure an ECO payment on their eligible land hectares. Three practices have enhanced options meaning that meeting the extra obligations under just one of those will count as two agricultural practices. These are:

  • space for nature - (non-productive areas and landscape features) - baseline is 7% while enhanced is 10% of eligible hectares
    • crop type includes copse, scrub, habitat, rock, pond, drain, woodland or trees, stone walls, orchard, hedge, ASSAP riparian zone; Designated Habitat; Natura scrub; margin / buffer (arable); fallow; and wild bird cover. 
  • extensive livestock production
    • maximum overall stocking rate of 1.4 LU/ha for the calendar year
    • minimum stocking rate requirements similar to ANC (0.1 LU/ha). based on previous years stocking rates. Enhanced option maximum stocking rate of 1.2 LU/ha.
  • planting native trees and hedgerows
    • minimum planting rate of three native trees OR one metre of hedgerow per eligible hectare per annum. Enhanced option six native trees / ha OR two metres of hedgerows/ha OR three native trees AND one meter of hedgerow/ha. List of trees species and hedgerow species are listed on Eco Scheme section of the BISS T&Cs. 

Read more

DAFM Information Webinar


Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC)

ANC can be applied for through a BISS application declaring land in an eligible ANC townland.

The ANC scheme provides payments to those farming land in designated areas face significant hardships from factors such as remoteness, difficult topography, climatic problems and poor soil conditions. These are areas designated as disadvantaged. 

Designation of ANC lands and payment rates are unchanged for 2023 (rate depends on category and number of hectares). Minimum stocking rate is reduced from 0.15 to 0.10 livestock unit per forage hectare. In most cases stocking rate from the previous year can be used, however if a farmer wishes, they can use the current year. Where justified on environmental grounds, a lower stocking requirement may apply. 

Support is provided based on the following categories of land:

  • Category 1 land: The system of farming prevalent in Category 1 is characterised by extensive farming practices focused on livestock management on higher ground.
  • Category 2 land: The system of farming prevalent in Category 2 is characterised by extensive livestock grazing practices on lower ground.
  • Category 3 land: The system of farming prevalent in Category 3 is less extensive in nature and characterised by grazing livestock enterprises.
  • Offshore island land: Island holdings are generally small and fragmented where the potential for intensification is limited and farming is economically marginal, at best. Farming on the off-shore islands off Ireland is in continuous decline.

REQUIRED:

  • maintain a minimum stocking density of 0.10 livestock units per forage hectare for 28 consecutive weeks/ 7 months within the calendar year
  • maintain an annual average stocking density of 0.10 livestock units per forage hectare for the calendar year

In most cases stocking rate from the previous year can be used, however if a farmer wishes, they can use the current year. Where justified on environmental grounds, a lower stocking requirement may apply. 

Horse breeding enterprises and donkeys are considered for stocking density eligibility subject to conditions:

  • Must have equine premises number
  • All equines must have valid passport in the applicants name
  • Equines only accepted from date of registration or transfer of ownership
  • Certified copies of passports must be submitted to DAFM ANC section
  • Details of equines used to fulfil stocking density requirements may be checked against the data returned in the equine census
  • The following equines are then eligible for inclusion in the stocking density calculation
    • All equines aged one year to five years (aged using 1 January), registered in a studbook approved by DAFM with pedigree recorded (sire and dam) and registered in name of applicant and maintained on his/her holding.
    • Breeding mares registered as having been on the applicant’s holding in 2022, which have bred a foal in either 2021 or 2022. Both the mare and foal must be registered in a studbook approved by DAFM, with pedigree recorded (sire and dam).
    • Donkeys are eligible if owned by the applicant, who holds a valid passport with the donkey registered in the name of the applicant and donkeys maintained on the applicants holding. NOTE only 50% of stocking density requirement can be fulfilled using donkeys. Other livestock such as cattle, sheep, goats, or horses (or deer subject to onsite inspection) would need to make up the balance.

Application for ANC is through the BISS. Read more


Agri-Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES)

ACRES is an agri-environment climate scheme under Ireland's CAP Strategic Plan. This €1.5 billion flagship agri-environment scheme is aimed to help address biodiversity decline while delivering an income support for up to 50,000 farm families.

The intake into the Scheme is phased, with at least two tranches. Tranche 1 of ACRES opened for applications October 2022 closing December 2022. It is proposed that the scheme will re-open in the third quarter of 2023 for applications for Tranche 2. 

This scheme includes payments for Rare Breeds (Connemara Pony; Irish Draught; Kerry Bog Pony) to eligible ACTIVE farmers. 

Proof of membership of the relevant breed society is required (Connemara Pony Breeders Society, Kerry Bog Pony Society, or a letter from Horse Sport Ireland relating to Irish Draughts).

Minimum stocking density 0.1 LU/ha is required. Payment rate of €200 / LU. (€160 / 0.8LU/ i.e. equine over 6 months). Breeding females producing a registered offspring above the basic eligibility requirements (similar to ANC) paid additional €75 per maternal LU equivalent for each progeny registered up to overall maximum payment ceiling (General Measure max €7,311; Co-operation Measure max €10,500).

An approved ACRES Advisor must be engaged. If receiving payments under other environmental schemes, for example, the ECO scheme, only actions that are different can receive payments under ACRES.

Further information available here


Complimentary Income Support for Young Farmers (CISYF)

Payment under CISYF is based on eligible hectares subject to a maximum of 50 hectares, rather than per activated payment entitlement. Applicants must hold at least one payment entitlement. 

Payment rates averaging €175 per hectare (dependant on total number of successful applicants in the scheme) over five years of the scheme, subject to the maximum of 50 hectares. 

To be eligible for CISYF an applicant must:

  • submit a valid BISS application for the scheme year under a herd number on which the applicant is included
  • be entitled to payment under BISS and hold at least one payment entitlement
  • be aged no more than 40 years of age at any time during the calendar year of first CISYF application. i.e. cannot have 41st birthday in the calendar year of application.
  • have successfully completed a recognised course of education in agriculture giving rise to an award at Level 6 or equivalent on the National Framework of Qualifications by scheme closing date. i.e. qualification must be ACHIEVED prior to the 15th of May in the relevant year, (by 29th of May in 2023).
  • set up a holding as head of the holding, solely or jointly, for the first time or has set up such a holding during the five years preceding first submission of application under CISYF
  • applicants that are part of a group/partnership must provide Declaration of Effective and long term Control and be named on the bank account. 

The Young Farmers Scheme payment is made per eligible hectare, subject to a maximum of 50 hectares. Payments should average approximately €175 per eligible hectare over the 5-year term of the scheme.

Successful CISYF applicants would be eligible to apply for 60% grant rate under TAMS 3

Further information, including terms and conditions (including educational requirements) are available here


Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Schemes (TAMS 3)

Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Schemes (TAMS 3) provide grants to farmers to build and/or improve a specified range of farm buildings and equipment on their holding. 

Access to information on TAMS 3 is available here and here

Note: 

A valid BISS application is the first step (see above). It is advisable to work with an agricultural agent, though appliations can be undertaken without one. A list of approved FAS Advisors is available here

Applicants:

  1. Must be registered with DAFM (have an equine premise number)
  2. Must have a minimum of five eligible hectares of land, owned or leased, or rented land (take care to renew any lease that will expire within 5 years of application)
    • The lease must have 5 years to run from the date of final TAMS 3 payment and must be verified or stamped duty paid by the Revenue Commissioners, except in the case of a lease to a spouse. Where it is considered that a lease will expire within five years of the date of final payment, such payment shall notissue until written evidence of an extension of the lease concerned is lodged with the Department; Any changes to a lease shall be by a witnessed and signed Deed of Variation

  3. Must have submitted a BISS application in the year of application or preceding year i.e. BEFORE applying for a TAMS 3 grant 

    All investment locations, including Farmyards, must be digitised and present on BPS/BISS application maps to enable use of AgriSnap

  4. Must have minimum three equines (of any type) submitted on Equine Census, where applying for equine infrastructure. The equine Census remains open for keepers to submit 2022 data. Failure to submit a completed 2022 Equine Census by the closing date of the TAMS tranche applied within will render a 2023 application for equine-related investment to be invalid.
  5. Must have secured full and final planning permission / declaration of exemption from planning BEFORE applying for a TAMS 3 grant

TAMS schemes issue in tranches, with batches of approvals allocated on a points basis against set criteria rather than on a first come, first served basis. Tranches open for three months at a time after which applications within the tranche are reviewed and scored by DAFM, then successful applicants informed while the next tranche opens. This continues until the fund expires or for the next five years from first opening in 2023.

No building or acquisition of materials can commence before approval. Grant payment is not issued until all works are complete; receipts etc. submitted; and final inspections completed. Bridging finance is usually required to cover costs until grant funding is paid.

Specifications for building in relation to the equine infrastructures are not published by DAFM.

Minimum investment

Minimum investment eligible for approval per application under all TAMS schemes is €2,000 per application (except LESS where it is €5,000)

Planning Permission

Full and final planning permission is required and /or exemption from planning at the time of application accompanied by stamped drawings from the relevant local authority. A decision to grant application is not sufficient, full grant of planning with stamped conditions and drawings must be submitted with the application. Guidelines re exempted developments are available here, but the exemptions will have to be applied for and provide declaration of exemption from county council at time of application - these are private applications to local authority without need to put up signage at the property and should have a quicker turn around time than full planning applications. 

Where applicable, a copy of the appropriate Environmental Impact Assessment undertaken as a requirement of the planning process must be submitted along with the grant of planning permission.

There are restrictions on exemptions (Article 9 of Planning and Development Regulations, 2001 as amended). development to which article 6 relates shall not be exmpeted development for the purpose of the Act if such development would 

  • contravene a condition attached to a permission under the Act or be inconsistent with any use specified in a permission under the Act
  • consist of or compromise the formation, laying out or material widening of a means of access to a public road the surfaced carriageway of which exceed 4 metres in width
  • endanger public safety by reason of traffic hazzard or obstruction of road users
  • works under a public road (e.g. underpass)
  • interfere with the character of a landscape, or a view or prospect of special amenity value or special interest
  • consist of or compromise the excavation, alteration or demolition (other than peat extraction) of places, caves, sites, features or other objects of archaeological, geological, historical, scientific or ecological interest
  • consist of or compromise extension, alteration, repair or renewal of an unauthorised structure or a structure the use of which is an unauthorised use
  • consist of demolition or such alteration of a building or other structure as would preclude or restrict the continuance of an existing use of a building or other structure where it is an objective of the planning authority to ensure that the building or other structure would remain available for such use
  • consist of the fencing or enclosure of any land habitually open to or used by the public during the 10 years preceiding
  • obstruct any public right of way
  • further to the provisions of section 82 of hte Act, consist of or compromise the carrying out of works to the exterior of a structure, where the structure concerned is located within an architectural conservation area. 
  • be in an area to which a special amenity order relates
  • need an environmental impact assessment
  • have significant repercussions on major accident hazards

Where amendments have been made to Approved building plans under TAMS, including required Planning Permission amendments, then revised drawings/Planning Permission must be submitted with the Claim.

Fencing in general does not require planning permission. However, if the proposed fencing (whether new or replacement) is in a Special Area of Conservation, a National Heritage Area, a Special Protection Area or a Natura 2000 habitat, any upland or seaside area that has not been previously fenced or enclosed, then planning permission or a declaration of exemption from the relevant local authority is also required at time of application.

Nitrates

Applicants seeking funding for farm waste nutrient storage facilities must certify the farm is in compliance with storage requirements as outlined in Nitrates Regulations. Applicants seeking funding for farm waste nutrient storage facilities must certify the farm complies with storage requirements per ‘Nitrates Regulations.’ Applicants found non-compliant will not be eligible for grant aid relating to Farm Nutrient Storage and will be cross-reported to the Cross Compliance Section of the Department, which may result in penalties or sanctions. Talk to your agricultural advisor. 

Application Process

Applications must be submitted online through agfood.ie. Applicants who wish to apply online or through their agents must first be registered for online services (OLS) with the Department. Instructions for registration can be found online at www.agfood.ie or you can contact agfood online services helpline in the Department’s Portlaoise office 049 436 8288 or email agfood@agriculture.gov.ie 

Applicants can submit more than one application per tranche, subject to the minimum investment ceiling. Where the Department identifier is registered in multiple names, applications submitted quoting the identifier are deemed to be submitted with the consent of all registered owners, e.g., in the following cases

  • Where the Department identifier is registered in more than one name i.e., Joint Herd number
  • In the case of Partnerships, by all Partners
  • In the case of companies, by the Company Directors.

Important

A full list of investment(s) and sub investment(s) is required to be listed through the online application including their proposed cost. 

At the time of claiming:

  • must claim item(s) purchased and correct size / dimensions
  • Just claim for works completed and mark any other structure(s) submitted originally which are incomplete
  • Can complete larger/ smaller than original drawings submitted and approved – HOWEVER must revise drawings and planning where changes are made
  • ONLY claim the item sizes or dimensions completed

Completion of works

12 months are granted for completion of works from date of approval letter. Extensions can be sought but photographic evidence will be required of commencement of works pre 12 months expire and explanation of mitigating factors preventing completion. 

Payment Claims

Payment claims will need to be supported by the following:

  1. ALL receipts in the name of individual/ entity showing net amount without VAT (where VAT applicable) and marked paid
  2. Evidence of land ownership / lease in applicants /entity's name(s).
  3. Agrisnap photos for every eligible TAMS subinvestment item
  4. Certificate in farm safety training course (1/2 day); certificate in farming meets this requirement where completed within five years of application.
  5. Any required quality certificates i.e. electrical/ concrete
  6. Tax clearance certificate of applicant and contractors 

Grant Costings

The amount to be paid in grant aid is dependant on:

  1. Whether an applicant is eligible for 40% grant rate or 60% grant rate (eligible young farmers and eligible women in agriculture or all items under the farm safety capital investment scheme) and 
  2. DAFM reference costing for the infrastructure item at date of approval. Costings as of Feb 22nd 2023
  3. or total cost of invoice marked 'paid' net of VAT together with costs of own labour/machinery 
  4. or cost of investment proposed by applicant on their online application form

Whichever is the lower of 2 or 3 or 4 is used as the base for calculating the grant.

Note: Reference costs are subject to revision periodically. If there is an amendment or change to reference costs, the change only applies to applications submitted after the date of introduction of the change to the reference cost.

Where applicable, Reference Costings will be increased by 33% in respect of investments carried out on off shore islands


Animal Welfare Nutrient Storage Scheme (AWNSS) (TAMS 3)

The scheme aims to facilitate farm modernisation including the provision of animal welfare, improve the working and production conditions on farms, improve competitiveness and contribute to the improvement of agricultural incomes, assist farmers for the storage of animal excreta, soiled water and other farmyard manures and related facilities and assist equine farmers in improving animal welfare.

Grant Rate:

Grant aid will only be paid on approved, completed, and eligible expenditure paid at the rate of 40% up to the applicable TAMS 3 maximum investment ceiling of €90,000 per holding (i.e 40% of €90,000 / €160,000 max) . In the case of an application by two or more eligible partners in a DAFM registered partnership the maximum eligible investment ceiling is increased to €160,000. Multiple applications per tranche are permissible. However, the minimum amount of investment which is eligible for approval under this Scheme is €2,000 per application.

Eligible Items: 

Equine infrastructure items eligible for investment under this scheme include: equine housing; ancillary concrete; tack room; feed and forage store; all weather exercise areas (arena/ lunge ring/ gallop) Note upgrade to existing all weather not aided, but extension to existing can be aided i.e extension to arena or gallop; mechanical horse walker (roofed / unroofed); fencing and gateways (integrated in a new fence line only); pasture management machinery may also be of interest. The full infrastructure list is available here. Newbuilds only are to be grant aided, not for the upgrade of existing structures. 

Marking Sheet

Further information is available here and DAFM allocated costings for infrastructure items and other support documents are available here


Young Farmer Capital Investment Scheme (YFCIS) (TAMS 3)

The Young Farmers’ Capital Investment Scheme (YFCIS) is intented to provide financial help to young farmers to upgrade their agricultural buildings and equipment. It helps them to meet the capital costs associated with the establishment of their enterprises.

Eligible persons:
The scheme is open to farmers aged over 18 and under 41 at the date of submitting the application, have set up for the first time within five years of an application under this scheme, own or have leasehold title to the site on which it is proposed to carry out the development, have a minimum of 5 hectares declared under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) or the Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS) or equivalent in the year of application or preceding year, and for equine investments have a minimum of 3 equines declared on the Equine Census or equivalent in the year preceding application and fulfill the requirement on occupational skill and competence.

Must fulfill the requirement regarding occupational skill and competence as set out in on the date of application or within 36 months from the date of issue of Department approval to the applicant to commence works. i.e. Applicants must have completed one of the courses listed in Annex J of the terms and conditions of the scheme or an equivalent course on or before the date of lodgment of an application for support or, at the latest, within 36 months from the date of issue of Department approval to commence works. Where this deadline for completion of the educational requirements is not met, grant aid will be paid at the standard rate of 40%. Qualifications that are claimed to be equivalent will be considered. All such cases should be submitted to Young Farmers Capital Investment Scheme Section, Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, Johnstown Castle Estate, Co. Wexford for decision prior to lodging an online application under the Scheme.

If farming with others, an individual may still be eligible for the scheme. In the case of a Young Farmer farming with others, a declaration is required that the Young Farmer exercises effective and long term control over the partnership or legal person in terms of decisions related to management, benefits and financial risks either solely or jointly together with other members of the partnership.

Grant rate:
Grant aid is paid at the rate of 60% up to a maximum of €90,000 (i.e 60% of €90,000 max) per holding. Multiple applications per tranche are allowed however the minimum amount of investment which is eligible for approval under this scheme is €2,000 per application.

Applicants who receive approval to proceed with investment works at the maximum ceiling of €90,000 under this scheme are not eligible to apply for grants under any other TAMS III scheme with the exception of the Low Emission Slurry Spreading (LESS) Equipment Scheme.

In the case of an application by two or more eligible partners, the maximum increases to €160,000.

Eligible Items:
Equine infrastructure items eligible for investment under this scheme include: equine housing; ancillary concrete; tack room; feed and forage store; all weather exercise areas (arena/ lunge ring/ gallop) Note upgrade to existing all weather not aided, but extension to existing can be aided i.e extension to arena or gallop; mechanical horse walker (roofed / unroofed); fencing and gateways (integrated in a new fence line only); pasture management machinery may also be of interest. The full infrastrucure list is available here. Newbuilds only are to be grant aided, not for the upgrade of existing structures. 

Terms and Conditions

Marking Sheet

DAFM Information Webinar


Farm Safety Capital Investment Scheme (FSCIS) (TAMS 3)

The Farm Safety Capital Investment Scheme (FSCIS) provides investments to improve safety. Equine Specific items funded include handling stocks and loading bays. Other items which may be of interest to equine holders are replacing hinged doors on existing buildings with roller doors or sliding doors; wiring / rewiring an existing building; yard lights (200w/metal halide/LED); or livestock monitoring cameras. 

Eligible persons:
The scheme is open to farmers who have a minimum of 5 hectares declared under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) or the Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS) or equivalent in the year of application or preceding year, and, for equine investments a minimum of 3 equines must be declared on the Equine Census or equivalent in the year preceding.

Grant rate: 
Grant aid is paid at the rate of 60% up to a maximum of €90,000 per holding. Multiple applications per tranche are allowed however the minimum amount of investment which is eligible for approval under this scheme is €2,000 per application.

Applicants who receive approval to proceed with investment works at the maximum ceiling of €90,000 under this scheme are not eligible to apply for grants under any other TAMS 3 scheme with the exception of as may be relevant also to equine holdings the Solar Capital Investment Scheme. 

In the case of an application by two or more eligible partners, the maximum increases to €160,000.

(i.e 60% of €90,000 / €160,000 max) 

Terms and Conditions

Marking Sheet


Women Farmer Capital Investment Scheme (WFCIS) (TAMS 3)

Eligible persons:
This scheme is open to farmers who are more than 18 years and under 67 years of age at the date of submitting the application form; are identified as female on the Department’s Corporate Customer Management (CCM) system; own or have leasehold title to the site on which it is proposed to carry out the development, have a minimum of 5 hectares declared under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) or the Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS) or equivalent in the year of application or preceding year, and for Equine Investments only have and a minimum of 3 equines declared on the Equine Census or equivalent in the year preceding application.

A Woman Farmer can only qualify for one holding or entity under this scheme.

Grant rate:
Grant aid is paid at the rate of 60% up to a maximum of €90,000 per holding. Multiple applications per tranche are allowed however the minimum amount of investment which is eligible for approval under this scheme is €2,000 per application.

Applicants who receive approval to proceed with investment works at the maximum ceiling of €90,000 under this scheme are not eligible to apply for grants under any other TAMS 3 scheme, with the exception of as may be relevant also to equine holdings the Solar Capital Investment Scheme. 

In the case of an application by two or more eligible partners, the maximum increases to €160,000.

(i.e 60% of €90,000 / €160,000 max) 

Eligible Items:
Equine infrastructure items eligible for investment under this scheme include: equine housing; ancillary concrete; tack room; feed and forage store; all weather exercise areas (arena/ lunge ring/ gallop) Note upgrade to existing all weather not aided, but extension to existing can be aided i.e extension to arena or gallop; mechanical horse walker (roofed / unroofed); fencing and gateways (integrated in a new fence line only); pasture management machinery may also be of interest. The full infrastrucure list is available here. Newbuilds only are to be grant aided, not for the upgrade of existing structures. 

Terms and Conditions

Marking Sheet

DAFM Information Webinar

DAFM Information webinar


Solar Capital Investment Scheme (SCIS) (TAMS 3)

The Solar Capital Investment Scheme aims to encourage the purchase of solar investments thereby reducing dependence on fossil energy. The solar scheme is ring fenced with its own investment ceiling of €90,000 and will be grant aided at the enhanced rate of 60%.

So an application at maximum investment ceiling of €90,000 under this scheme can be made and further application / applications under the other TAMS 3 schemes listed above could be made either as one single application or multiple applications to the additional maximum investment ceiling of €90,000 for these in totality. In the case of an application by two or more eligible partners in a registered  farm partnership the maximum eligible investment ceiling shall remain at €90,000.

Terms and Conditions

Marking Sheet


A Guide to Completing Equine Census

(1) If you do not already have an agfood.ie account

(i)    Create an account by logging on to https://agfood.agriculture.gov.ie/sso-auth-ui-applicant/#/login 
(ii)   Choose the option to ‘Register’ – using your PPSN, email address, phone number and date of birth.

For security reasons, your personal login details will issue to you by post and should arrive at your address a few days after you register.  You will need this information to access the 2022 Equine Census portal. When you are fully registered, follow the steps below.

If you have any difficulties accessing your online account, please contact the Department by phone at 049 – 4368288 or by email at agfood@agriculture.gov.ie for assistance.

(2) If you have an agfood.ie account:

(i)    log on to www.agfood.ie but do not use your login details at this stage.
(ii)   Click on the Equine Census tab in the Equine Census box (on the right-hand side of the screen).
(iii)  Enter your agfood.ie username and password.

Note: A dual authentication process has been introduced in 2022 to further protect your data. When you use the 2022 census portal for the first time, you will be asked to nominate a mobile phone number to which a new specific six-digit code will be texted each time you wish to access the site. Please nominate a number that you will have access to in the future when logging on to agfood.ie.

(iv)  Enter your mobile phone number.
(v)   Key in the code sent to the mobile phone – and click on the ‘login’ tab – this will bring you to the Equine Census 2022 ‘Home’ page.
(vi)  If you have just one Equine Premises Registration Number (EPRN), you will be brought to a screen displaying your details, from where you can create your 2022 census return in the left-hand box (tab).

If you have more than one EPRN, each will be listed. Click on the appropriate EPRN to present a new ‘Census 2022’ tab from where you can create your 2022 return for that premises.

Equine Premises Number (EPRN) can be found at the top of the form overleaf.

(vii) On ‘Census 2022’ tab you will have the option to create your 2022 census either using new data or using the 2021 data recorded by the Department as a base. 

Click on the relevant button for your preferred option.

Note:  If you had no equines in the previous year and you are not keeping equines now, you must choose the option use new data.

(viii) This will bring you to the new screen to record your 2022 information.

  • If you are not currently keeping equines, complete Section 1 only and ‘SUBMIT’
  • If you are keeping equines, you must answer all questions at both Sections 1 & 2

If you choose to use your 2021 data, the UELNs recorded from your 2021 return will be listed to assist you in completing this Section. You can

  • click on individual records to delete them if the equine is no longer present or
  • add a row (click on ‘+Add UELN’) to type in the UELN of an equine that has moved to live on the premises in the last 12 months and then SAVE the newly input data each time

(ix)  You must make sure that the number of UELNs listed is the same as the number of equines with passports recorded as being permanently present on your holding (second question at Section 2).
(x)   When you have completed your return, click on the ‘SUBMIT’ button.  If the return is not complete, you will be requested to record the missing information – update the missing fields and ‘SUBMIT’ your form again. You will receive confirmation when your census has been submitted successfully – this will be provided in green at the top of the screen.
(xi)  After submission of your 2022 equine census return – if you wish to view or amend it – please access the system as outlined above and select appropriate view or amend option.

(3) Where there are 10 equines or more present on your holding, you can use the ‘Bulk Upload’ option to submit the required details for all equines kept on your holding.  A comprehensive ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ (FAQ) document is available on the left-hand side of the ‘Home’ screen to assist with this and common issues raised in 2021.  Alternatively, you can email any queries to equinecensus2022@agriculture.gov.ie (quoting your equine premises number in the subject line)


Fodder Transport Support Measure

The fodder transport support measure provides a financial contribution to offset the transport costs of hay, fodder, beet, straw and silage for feeding where transportation involves a distance of more than 75km. 

Who is eligible: farmers, including equine farmers who are experiencing a significant forage shortage on their holding, and who must have livestock experiencing a fodder shortage to avail of support. 

Forage purchased propr to the 31st of March (inclusive) is ineligible for the scheme. The closing date for the scheme is 15th of May 2024. 

Further information is available here