Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Wednesday 26 April 2017

What you can claim aid for

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Under the Dairy Equipment Scheme, the grant rate for milking machine equipment is 40pc and the investment ceiling is €40,000.

For milk cooling equipment, a similar grant rate of 40pc is available but the investment ceiling is lower, at €25,000.

So what equipment is eligible for grant aid and what is not?

Teagasc's farm buildings and machinery specialist Tom Ryan has compiled an overview of what farmers can and cannot claim for.

In the category of milking machine equipment, the eligible items include new milking machines, extensions to existing machines, autowashers, water heaters and heat-transfer equipment (to capture heat from milk cooling systems).

Grant aid will be available for all types of milking machines, including robotic and rotary systems.

While there is no grant for solar water-heating systems, it is likely that the hot water storage cylinder part will qualify for a grant, Ryan points out.

Farmers should be aware that the rump rail/supports for the milking machine in the parlour are not grant aided and there will be no grant aid for retrofitting equipment to existing milking machines.

For example, farmers cannot seek grant aid for fitting cluster removers to an existing machine. There will be no grant aid for in-parlour meal feeding equipment, feed mangers, augers or bins, Mr Ryan explains.

No construction work such as the building of walls, buildings or construction of parlour pits will be eligible for grant aid.

In the milk-cooling category, milk storage and ancillary cooling equipment will be eligible for grant aid.

This will include bulk tanks, bulk tank automatic washers, plate coolers, ice builders and replacement compressors to improve cooling efficiency.

Exempt

Mr Ryan points out that planning permission is required for outdoor bulk milk tanks as they are not exempt under present planning laws.

The Department of Agriculture has indicated that grants will not be paid on equipment installed in structures that require planning permission until proof of planning permission is supplied to the Department.

If planning permission is found to be required after the farmer's application has been lodged or approved, either approval or payment will be delayed until all the necessary planning requirements are in order.

"Essentially, if planning is required it should be lodged with the application," explains the Teagasc expert.

"If you will need planning permission, sort it out now."

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