Longford farmers reminded of September 30 deadline for Calf Investment Scheme
With only approximately 700 claims for payments submitted under the Calf Investment Scheme out of a total of 2,400 applications, the Chairperson of ICMSA’s Farm and Rural Affairs Committee has reminded Longford farmers that the closing date for the submission of payments claims is Wednesday, September 30 and to ensure that all the necessary documentation is submitted by this date in order to secure full payment.
Denis Drennan noted that ICMSA had welcomed the introduction of this scheme earlier this year and he said that there has been significant interest from farmers in investing in calf infrastructure.
Unfortunately, the impact of Covid-19 in early Spring had affected farming like all sectors and many interested farmers have been forced to delay investments given the uncertainty around the projected duration of Covid-19 and the reduction in farm incomes.
Mr Drennan felt that this was the most likely explanation for the slow uptake to date and he wondered whether the Department should consider an extension to the closing date to allow farmers more time to complete the investment.
He said that given the ongoing growth in the dairy herd, calf infrastructure will be a similarly ongoing requirement. ICMSA is therefore is calling on the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine to re-open the Calf Investment Scheme immediately for new applicants so that farmers can get approval for calf equipment in advance of the 2021 calving season.
The scheme has been a welcome and useful addition and should be continued while those with completed investments should get the required documentation submitted to the Department by 30 September 2020, he concluded.
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