The threatened closures of the Broadleaf Thinning Scheme and Forest Roads Grants Scheme have been reversed by the Department of Agriculture.
However, payment rates under the new Forest Roads Grants Scheme have been reduced by €10/m for road construction. The new scheme, which was announced this week, has a maximum payment of €35/m for road construction, compared to €45/m in the old initiative. In addition, the amount of roadage has been cut from 25m/ha to 20m/ha.
Meanwhile, the Broadleaf Thinning Scheme has also been re-opened for new applications. There are no changes to the payment rate of €750/ha.
Processing of applications in the system when it was stalled will resume immediately.
Horse Sport Ireland has raised concerns about the exclusion of horses from the stocking density requirements in the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme.
Chief executive Damian McDonald said that more than 2,000 herd owners had qualified for the scheme last year through having just horses on their land.
Mr McDonald said the production and breeding of horses was a legitimate and long-standing farming activity, but his organisation was worried about the exclusion of horses and the precedent this might set.
Farmers seeking part-time workers can now go online to find workers in their locality.
A database of skilled farm workers who are seeking work on a temporary or part-time basis can be found on www.parishfarmhand.com.
The website allows workers to register their experience, location and contact details.
Farmers browsing the site can then contact the workers directly, paying them an agreed rate of €12/hour for a minimum of three hours work.