With the new National Liming Programme subsidy announced, and the closing date of April 20th just around the corner, lets look at the details involved.
Q- What is the National Liming Programme?
The €16/t subsidy is a very welcome incentive which will provide great opportunities for farms that are currently below optimum soil fertility levels.
The aim of the programme is to incentivise farmers to purchase and spread Calcium ground limestone/Magnesium ground limestone, in accordance with the lime requirement stated in the soil analysis report.
Q- Are all farmers eligible to take part?
Farmers that availed of a Nitrates Derogation in 2022 or 2023 and farmers with a grassland stocking rate above 170kg livestock manure nitrogen/ha prior to export in 2022 are ineligible to participate in this programme.
The following land categories are excluded:
- Commonage land
- Lands under Natura 2000, NHA/pNHA designation
- Annex 1 grassland and environmentally sensitive permanent grassland
Herdowners who are participating or intend to participate in the 2023 Eco-Scheme practice relating to soil sampling and liming are not eligible to participate in this programme.
Q- What are the minimum and maximum amounts of lime that can be included under the programme?
The payment will only be made on valid claims relating to a minimum of 10t of ground limestone and a maximum of 200t. Farmers must not exceed a maximum application rate is 7.5t/ha. Note: Lime should only be applied in accordance with up-to-date soil tests.
Lime application is possible all year round, however, there are specific times of the year where liming is more beneficial. For example, once fields have been grazed off, following first and second cut silage, and also at the time of reseeding. For more advice on lime application, click here.
The payment will only be made on valid claims relating to a minimum of 10t of ground limestone and a maximum of 200t.
Q- What are the criteria when it comes to the Basic Payment scheme (BPS) and Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS)?
Applicants are eligible to apply if they submitted a Basic Payment scheme (BPS) application in 2022 and/or a Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS) application in 2023.
Q- Is soil sampling mandatory?
Farmers who are participating in the programme must have up-to-date soil tests (max. of 4 years old from the date of purchasing the lime), however, you do not need the soil test to apply for the programme, they can be done afterwards.
Soil testing is the best indicator of how much lime is needed to reach the target soil pH. On mineral grassland soils, the target pH level is 6.3 and up to 6.8 on grass clover swards. For tillage crops, there is a target soil pH of 6.5 for cereals and up to 6.8 for legumes and beet.
The best time of the year to take soil samples generally tends to be from September to March.
Q- Where to source agri lime?
To qualify for the National Liming Programme, lime can only be purchased directly from quarries licenced by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) to manufacture and market liming materials.
Bennettsbridge Limestone is a member of GROLIME, Ireland’s only agricultural lime quality assurance scheme. We undergo independent twice-yearly testing for TNV, moisture value and grading.
Our Hi-Calcium Agri Lime has a consistent Total Neutralising Value (TNV) of 98%, which is a measure of how effective a lime is at neutralising the acidity in the soil.
We also place a large emphasis on lime fineness, consistently manufacturing lime with 33% more powder than the Department of Agriculture specification.
Bennettsbridge Limestone is a member of GROLIME, Ireland’s only agricultural lime quality assurance scheme.
Q- When will payments be issued?
Payments will be made towards the end of 2023 after BISS areas have been finalised.
Q- How to apply for the National Liming Programme?
Applicants must complete an Application Form on www.agfood.ie by the closing date of April 20th 2023. Approved applicants must upload the invoices showing the date, the quantity of lime purchased and the cost per tonne. Claims for payment must be submitted by 31st October 2023.
The Bennettsbridge Limestone team are available to assist with any questions you may have on the National Liming Programme, contact us today.