It pays to get competitive quotes on your equipment

Detailed costings will be required for your Dairy Equipment Scheme application and cheaper quotes will raise your chance of selection, writes Caitriona Murphy

Application forms and costings will now be dealt with through a centralised application system
Application forms and costings will now be dealt with through a centralised application system

Detailed costings for any equipment will be required from farmers along with their application to the Dairy Equipment Scheme.

Teagasc's farm buildings and equipment specialist Tom Ryan is urging farmers to have some work done prior to the application.

"For example, have cost estimates and know the size of the bulk tank and water heater that you intend to buy," he explains. Department of Agriculture standard costings are currently being updated and will be calculated per litre of tank capacity.

"Farmers will also need cost estimates for the milking equipment, because the grant will be calculated on the number of units," he points out. "For instance, the number of units in new milking machines or the number of extended units in extended parlours."

Farmers and their advisers will be required to give estimated costs (based on quotations) with their application form.

Department of Agriculture officials will then assess the farmer's estimated costs and compare them to the Department's own standard costing. The grant will be calculated based on the lower of these two costings.

For example, Farmer A submits estimated costings of €11,000 for a new milking machine but the Department's standard costings for the same machine are €10,000.

The grant will be calculated on the lower costings of €10,000 and the farmer, if approved, will receive a grant amounting to 40pc of €10,000, or €4,000.

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However, if Farmer B can source the same machine at a cost of €9,000, then his own costings will form the basis of the grant and he will receive a grant of €3,600 (40pc of €9,000).

Farmers should note that, as part of the new points-scoring selection system, a farmer who submits estimated costs lower than the Department's standard costings (to a maximum of 80pc) will have a better chance of becoming a selected applicant.

So in this example Farmer B, all other things being equal, would rank higher in the grading system than Farmer A.

"So it is in the applicant's interest to get a competitive quotation," points out Mr Ryan.

No grant will be paid on equipment invoiced or delivered before the date that written approval is issued to the farmer. As part of the conditions of the scheme, on-farm spot checks will be made and all receipts will be fully checked.

Application forms and costings will be dealt with through a centralised application system based at Johnstown Castle.

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