Cork and Tipp top the TAMS league as dairy ex­pan­sion drives farm in­vest­ment

Irish Independent - Farming - - NEWS - De­clan O’Brien

WHAT have hurl­ing and TAMS grants in com­mon?

Very lit­tle, ex­cept the coun­ties which gained most from the TAMS scheme since 2016 will all fancy their chances of lift­ing Liam MacCarthy this year should the GAA man­age to get a hurl­ing cham­pi­onship run off.

Over a quar­ter of all TAMS grants drawn down over the last five years went to farm­ers in Cork and Tip­per­ary, De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture fig­ures show, with Kilkenny, Wex­ford and Gal­way mak­ing up the re­main­der of the ‘top five’.

Around €220m has been ap­proved in TAMS grants since 2016, supporting in­vestmests of close to €480m at farm level.

Cork re­ceived by far the biggest pro­por­tion of grants, with farm­ers get­ting approval for €37m in TAMS sup­ports in the pe­riod from 2016 up to Fri­day, July 24 this year.

Tip­per­ary re­ceived €21.3m dur­ing the same pe­riod, with farm­ers in Kilkenny, Wex­ford and Gal­way se­cur­ing €15.7m, €14.2m and €12.2m re­spec­tively.

Other coun­ties with size­able grant approval rates in­cluded Lim­er­ick (€11.9m), Kerry (€11.5m) and Water­ford (€10.7m), fol­lowed by Clare (€7.8m), Laois (€7.4m), Meath (€6.8m), Of­faly (€6.2m), Mon­aghan (€6m), Ca­van (€5.9m), Done­gal (€5.9m) and Mayo (€5.7m).

The coun­ties with the low­est TAMS ap­provals in­clude Leitrim (€1.7m), Sligo (€2m) and Long­ford (€2.5m).

Ap­pli­ca­tion rates

Ap­pli­ca­tion rates for TAMS in 2020 are run­ning close to 2018 and 2019 lev­els de­spite the dis­rup­tion caused by the Covid-19 cri­sis.

The con­cen­tra­tion of TAMS grant ap­provals in the southern half of the coun­try con­firms that dairy ex­pan­sion con­tin­ues to ac­count for a high pro­por­tion of the ap­pli­ca­tions.

With grant aid of be­tween 40pc and 60pc avail­able un­der TAMS for the pur­chase of qual­i­fy­ing equip­ment or cap­i­tal in­vest­ment projects, the scheme is hugely im­por­tant for dairy start-ups.

A re­cent ex­am­i­na­tion of grant ap­provals in­di­cated that around 40pc of suc­cess­ful ap­pli­ca­tions re­lated to the pur­chase of milk­ing ma­chines or other dairy equip­ment.

A fur­ther 20pc of grants were for farm build­ings, while 12pc in­volved the pur­chase of slurry spread­ing equip­ment.

In­vest­ments as­so­ci­ated pri­mar­ily with the tillage sec­tor

which in­cluded the pur­chase of sprayers, fer­tiliser spread­ers and pes­ti­cide re­duc­tion ac­counted for close to 10pc of the to­tal value of ap­pli­ca­tions.

To-date there have been more than 35,000 ap­pli­cants for grants un­der the scheme, with around 28,000 ap­proved.

Boom sec­tor:

The con­cen­tra­tion of TAMS grant ap­provals in the southern half of the coun­try con­firms that dairy ex­pan­sion con­tin­ues to ac­count for a high pro­por­tion of the ap­pli­ca­tions.

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