The Department of Agriculture has released the payment rates under the new flagship agri-environmental scheme, Agri Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES). The scheme, which will replace the current Green Low-carbon Agri-environment Scheme (GLAS), will pay farmers for a range of measures.
As outlined in Table 1, farmers will be paid €200/ha each year for up to 10ha for extensively grazing land, while farmers managing intensive grassland next to a watercourse will be paid €502/ha each year for up to 5ha.
Farmers who take up low emission slurry spreading (LESS) will be paid €1.20/m3 per year, while if you carry out minimum tillage, the payment rate will be €40/ha/year.
The Department has also outlined the completion dates for many actions.
Some actions have deadlines in mid-2023, while others need to be completed by March 2024. Measures such as planting a new hedgerow, a traditional orchard or planting trees in riparian buffer zones have a completion date of March 2024.
Under these measures, farmers will be paid €5.29/m/year for planting a new hedgerow, €27.49/tree/year for planting a traditional orchard and €3.18/tree/year for putting trees in riparian buffer zones.
Measures such as the winter bird food plot will pay farmers a maximum of €3,000 per year (€1,000 for a maximum of 3ha) and are to be completed by 15 May each year, while winter bird food strips must also be completed by the same date.
The winter bird food strip will pay farmers either €0.98/m/year (for a 6m strip) or €1.31/m/year (for an 8m strip) for up to 2,500m.