The View from Teagasc: Stock proof fencing is essential for proper grassland management. Along with effective sheep handling equipment, it is key to reducing the workload associated with sheep.
There is still time for sheep farmers to apply for grant aid under the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS). This refers to the Sheep Fencing/Mobile Handling Equipment Scheme that closes for applications at the end of December.
Under this scheme, which was revised in March 2013, the maximum investment has increased from €10,000 to €25,000 per holding. Furthermore, from October 1, the reference costs on which grant aid is based has been increased for sheep fencing in mountain areas.
The rate of grant aid is payable at 40 per cent so the maximum grant aid available is €10,000. The following is a list of the items on which grant aid is available:
■ portable basic sheep handling race;
■ portable sheep handling race with
wheels (including footbath);
■ mobile weighing facilities;
■ mobile rollover crates;
■ mobile “batch” footbaths;
■ mobile penning up to a maximum of 75 metres (in combination with a sheep handling race);
■ mobile ad-lib meal feeder (creep feeders);
■ mobile fodder feeder (round or rectangular);
■ mobile hay rack;
mobile adoption unit front;
■ mobile adoption unit front with penning;
■ mobile specialised sheep spraying equipment;
■ EID tag reader and software;
■ PDA EID tag reader and management software package; and
■ fencing and gateway as part of this sheep fencing.
You should talk urgently to your adviser about applying. Application forms and terms and conditions are available at www.agriculture.gov.ie.