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Saturday 10 December 2016

High demand sees farmer grading for equipment scheme

Over 800 applications registered for multimillion-euro government project with many more expected

Published 08/02/2012 | 06:00

THE latest Dairy Equipment Scheme tranche looks set to be substantially over-subscribed and will result in farmers being graded for entry into the scheme.

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Department of Agriculture officials have confirmed that more than 800 farmer applications were registered before the January 31 deadline, with more applications still in the registration pipeline.

This latest tranche, which opened for applications on December 20, has an allocation of €4.425 million.

The third tranche of funding, again amounting to €4.425m, is now open for applications, with a closing date of April 30, 2012.

With such high applications numbers for the latest tranche, Department of Agriculture officials will be implementing its marking system to grade farmers for priority entry to the scheme.

Under the marking scheme, farmers will be scored on a range of criteria from the applicant's age to the level of quota he/she holds.

The highest score on the marking system (150 marks) will go to a successful applicant under the New Entrant Scheme or "New/Recent Entrant" or "Son/Daughter Farming in Partnership with a Parent" categories of the milk-quota trading scheme.

A farmer who was allocated milk quota, under the milk-quota trading scheme, will receive 120 marks, while an applicant under 35 years of age will score 80 marks and an applicant with relevant training will score 60 marks.

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Only one of the above four criteria will be taken into account when tallying the farmer's total score.

When it comes to the cost of the proposed development, there are five marks available for every 1pc that the farmer's proposed cost is less than the Department of Agriculture reference. A farmer whose development comes in at 20pc lower than the reference cost will score the maximum mark of 100.

Farmers whose application refers to sheep or goats' milk production will score 45 marks, while farmers who applied for, but did not receive funding under the Farm Improvement Scheme will score 40 marks.

If a farmer participates in the Dairy Efficiency Programme or records Animals Events, he will score 40 marks.

A further 10 marks are available for farmers if any of the owned or leased land is in a Less Favoured Area.

Finally, a farmer whose milk quota is 100,000 litres or less will score a maximum of five marks.

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