The Tillage Capital Investment Scheme (TCIS) is one of seven entry routes to receive funding under the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS II).

Interest in all seven entry routes remains high with the level of funding apportioned to each tranche not sufficient to satisfy the high level of demand witnessed in recent tranches.

This has resulted in about one-third of applicants not receiving approval in recent tranches and either being rolled over to a subsequent tranche or applications withdrawn and submitted again.

It is therefore important for those interested in applying to be mindful of selection criteria.

As detailed in Table 1, the main method of increasing an applicant’s marks is through reducing the proposed cost of the investment.

This is based on the Department’s reference costs and an additional five marks are attainable for each 1% when the proposed cost falls below the reference cost.

A maximum of 100 marks will be allocated through this option with no merit in reducing the proposed cost below 80% of the reference cost.

Tranche dates

Some applicants who are not under any time pressure to receive approval opt to submit the application as normal with the maximum reference cost selected. If unsuccessful, they withdraw and submit it again with a lower reference cost.

Exploring what the cut-off mark has been for the previous tranche will also help in this regard.

The marking schedule for tranche 20 has not been published yet with letters still pending for many applicants despite tranche 21 closing on 16 April 2021. This also needs to be borne in mind.

There are three tranches remaining in 2021 – tranche 22 which is currently open for applications until 22 July, tranche 23 which opens for applications on 23 July and tranche 24 which opens for applications on 5 November.

Eligible items

Farmers must have a minimum of 15ha of eligible crops recorded on their Basic Payment Scheme application in the year of application or the preceding year to be deemed eligible.

Grant aid is available under TCIS on a wide range of investments including grain store improvements, rainwater harvesting, GPS machinery control, minimum disturbance tillage equipment, wheel-changing equipment, grain treatment equipment and harvesting, spreading and pesticide equipment.

Grant aid is payable at a rate of 40% up to a maximum of €80,000 per holding or €160,000 in the case of two or more eligible partners.

There is a minimum investment of €2,000 per holding excluding VAT.