Cork has the highest number of farmers taking part in the €10m pilot soil sampling and analysis programme, with a total of 869 farmers successful in their application, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue confirmed in a parliamentary question this week.

Cork also had the highest number of applications received with a total of 2,313. However, this meant nearly 1,500 farmers were left disappointed.

Galway had 1,658 farmers apply for the scheme, 766 of whom were successful.

Donegal also had a high number of applications to the scheme, with almost 1,200 farmers looking to get into the scheme and less than half (547) being accepted.

Big uptake

There was also a big uptake in the scheme from Mayo, with 965 applications submitted by farmers, resulting in 477 being successful in their efforts.

The lowest uptake of the scheme was seen in Dublin, with just 45 applications and 30 were accepted.

Some 7,879 successful applicants were selected from a total of 15,820 applicants, to which the Minister said was "due to over-subscribtion".

This means a total of 7,922 farmers did not get into the scheme.


The Minister said that applicants were selected for the programme on a first-come, first-served basis, with additional steps to ensure appropriate geographic and sectoral spread.

Minister McConalogue said that soil sampling is ongoing and taking place across all counties.

"Farmers who were approved into the programme were informed that their sampling contract runs to 31 December 2022.

"Approved participants who do not have their soil sampled this spring will have a further opportunity to have samples taken in the autumn if they wish," he said.