Farmers will be paid for establishing catch crops, wild bird cover and environmentally managing fallow land under the tillage actions laid out in the proposed Agri Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES).

High payment rates have been put forward for some actions that only require small parcels of land under the Department of Agriculture’s plans.

A payment of €5,235 per year will be issued to farmers opting to carry out the environmental management of arable fallow land over the maximum permitted area of 5ha.

The field under this option will need shallow cultivation to be carried out before 31 March each year and have a catch crop established in autumn each year. The same parcel must remain in the fallow option for the entire duration of ACRES.

Plots of wild bird food planted before 15 May 2023 are set to pay €1,000/ha for up to 3ha, with the minimum area allowable under this option being 0.25ha.

Minimum tillage

Those who chose the minimum tillage action can expect to receive €40/ha up to a maximum of 50ha.

The establishment of brassica fodder stubble will have to be done with minimum tillage techniques by 31 July for farmers to be eligible under this €120/ha action, while the establishment of a catch crop must be completed before 15 September and by minimum tillage to receive the €173/ha payment.