Irish farmers to receive payments for unharvested crops

The Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has launched a new support scheme providing payments of €1,000/ha (£874) for growers in Ireland who could not harvest cereal crops during September and October due to wet weather.

Eligible growers can apply for support for between two and 20ha of land.

Applications and further guidance for the Unharvested Crop Support Scheme can be made through the Irish government’s website with applications closing on 24 November.

See also: Irish dairy herd set to be cut 10% under government plans

Wheat, barley, oats, and rye crops are all eligible for payments through the scheme, as declared on the growers’ 2023 Basic Income Support for Sustainability (Biss) application.

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) welcomed the support payments and has worked to identify growers with unharvested crops.

IFA grain chairman Kieran McEvoy said: “Growers will be eligible for up to €20,000 (£17,479) in aid payments for crops which were unable to be harvested due to the very unsettled weather conditions in September and October.”

Further support for growers

Farmers Weekly contacted Defra, the Scottish and Welsh governments to see whether any other countries were offering similar schemes for farm businesses affected by the wet weather.

A Welsh government spokesman said: “Our Growing for the Environment Scheme is important in supporting farmers to grow crops which provide environmental benefits, such as unsprayed cereal crops. Compensation is not offered in situations where crops have not been harvested due to adverse weather conditions.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said it does not currently offer this particular type of scheme.

A Defra spokesperson said: “We’re acutely aware of the impact Storms Babet and Ciaran have had on the farming community, and the important role to play in reducing the risk of flooding as we adapt to climate change.

“Farmers are already eligible for support through the Flood Recovery Framework, including a grant of up to £2,500 as part of the Business Recovery Grant.

“Since 2015 we have also protected 580,000 acres of agricultural land along with thousands of businesses, communities and major infrastructure via our floods investment programmes.”

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