Cork paid quarter of TAMS dairy funds
Over 60pc of Dairy Equipment Scheme (DES) grant aid went to farmers in Munster over the last four years, figures from the Department of Agriculture show.
A total of €53m was paid out under the TAMS measure between 2015 and 2018, with more than €31m going to farmers in the southern province.
Around a quarter of the approved funds went to Cork, with €12.3m being paid to more than 1,100 farmers in the county.
The total number of applicants for the scheme over the four years was 4,875, with the average grant payment being €10,870.
The overall payout under DES increased from €8m in 2015 to around €16m for 2016 and 2017.
However, the impact of last year's drought was reflected in a sharp drop in dairy sector investment, with grant approvals falling back to €12.56m.
The high level of grant approvals in Munster - Cork, Tipperary, Kerry and Limerick have the highest levels of DES drawdowns - confirms that the bulk of the dairy expansion is still concentrated in the country's traditional dairy heartlands.
However, the figures show significant dairy investments were also made in the east and south, particularly, Meath, Laois, Kildare, Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford. This region has seen a growing trend in dairy conversions among former suckler and tillage farmers.