The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine has confirmed that the budget for the National Liming Programme has doubled from €8 million to €16 million, which would mean each eligible applicant in the 2023 programme could get approval for up to 40t of lime.

The budget was widened as the department said there was a “phenomenal level of interest”, with 41,000 applications received by the closing date of April 20.

A total of 51 manufacturers over 17 counties in the Republic of Ireland are involved in the scheme. A further 10 are operating in Northern Ireland.

Quarries operating outside the state are not required to be licenced by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), but lime supplied must meet the specifications set down under the Marketing of Non-Eec Fertilisers Regulations law.

Limestone quarries operating outside the state, currently eligible to supply lime under the National Liming Programme 2023 include:

  • Acheson & Glover, Co. Fermanagh;
  • Armagh Limestone;
  • OMYA UK Ltd, Co. Antrim;
  • Northstone (Carmean), Co. Derry;
  • Kilwaughter Minerals, Larne, Co. Antrim;
  • W.G. Mills (Loughgall), Co. Armagh;
  • B. McCaffrey (Derrylin), Co. Fermanagh;
  • Armagh City Quarries;
  • B. McCaffrey (Drumquin), Co. Tyrone;
  • R.J. Mitten & Sons, Co. Fermanagh.

The list will be added to as test results are provided by quarries and verified by DAFM to meet the National Liming Programme requirements.

A full list of participants in the Republic of Ireland is available on the DAFM’s website.

Lime prices

Agriland has compiled a selection of prices for lime from operating quarries involved in the National Liming Programme.

It should be noted that these figures are based on the cost of Ex Works ground limestone per tonne, and are simply the figures observed at the time of writing (Tuesday, August 15).

Looking at five different providers in the Northern Ireland, prices varied from the lowest of £17.70/t to the highest at £20/t.

Prices averaged at £18.90/t. As of today (Tuesday, August 15), one pound is worth €1.16.

Variation in prices between the north and south remained low.

Out of five different participants Agriland received figures from in the Republic of Ireland, the lowest price stood at €18/t.

The highest recorded price was €25/t and the average price of all five stood at €21.


All eligible applicants for funding under the Liming Programme will receive a letter of approval from the department shortly, confirming their eligible tonnage of lime.

Invoices can be uploaded for eligible applicants that have already purchased and spread lime. All claims must be lodged online by October 31.

Farmers that availed of a nitrates derogation in 2022 or 2023, and farmers with a grassland stocking rate above 170kg livestock manure nitrogen/ha prior to export in 2022, are ineligible to participate in the programme.

The following land categories are excluded from the programme: Commonage land, Forestry, Lands under Natura 2000, NHA/pNHA designation, as well as Annex 1 grassland, and environmentally sensitive permanent grassland.

Herdowners who are participating or intend to participate in the 2023 Eco-Scheme practice relating to soil sampling and liming are also not eligible to participate in the programme.

Valid soil samples must be available to show the need to correct soil pH. The maximum payment that a farmer is likely to receive is in the region of €640.