The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D. today announced the opening of the new Straw Incorporation Measure (SIM) which has been introduced to support Irish tillage farmers who decide to chop and incorporate the straw into the soil after harvest. A total fund of €10 million is available for 2021 on a pilot basis. SIM is co-funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development as part of Ireland’s Rural Development Plan.
Announcing the opening of SIM, Minister McConalogue said, “This is an important initiative firstly for tillage farmers, but also for the environment. It will help farmers who want to increase their soil organic carbon levels by means of straw chopping and incorporation. I am confident that this focused type of intervention can act as a model for future scheme development.”
Applications can be made from today (March 22) via the BPS online application form, available at agfood.ie. The closing date for applications is Monday 17 May.
Commenting further the Minister said, “I’m acutely aware that a vibrant tillage sector is crucial for Irish agriculture. I am confident that SIM can make an important contribution to the long term sustainability of the tillage sector and I look forward to seeing tillage farmers actively engage in the measure. I know that advisors and indeed officials from my Department are there to assist with the application process. I support the long-term viability of the tillage sector and will listen to and engage with the sector in the time ahead.”