To assist farmers, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has made available to farmers their individual stocking rates on agfood.ie.
Under the CAP Strategic Plan 2023-2027, farmers’ stocking rate will be used to determine eligibility for the Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) scheme, the Eco-scheme Agricultural Practise on Extensive Livestock Production and the Organic Farming Scheme. Farmers may also use their stocking rate to satisfy the ‘Active Farmer’ check.
On agfood.ie farmers can now see their 2021 and 2022 (to date) stocking rate. It is important to note that farmers’ stocking rates in 2022 will be used as the basis for the relevant CAP schemes in 2023. To provide maximum flexibility to farmers, the Department will also allow farmers to alternatively use 2023 stocking rates. However, using 2023 stocking rates may result in scheme payments not issuing until March of the subsequent year e.g. March 2024 for scheme year 2023.
The stocking rate information presented on agfood.ie displays information on the calculation of the stocking rate based on both the existing livestock coefficients, which will be familiar to participants in the ANC scheme, and the new livestock coefficients being introduced in 2023.
If you require assistance, a user guide document is available at: https://www.gov.ie/en/service/f16b22-basic-payment-scheme/
Notes to editor
Livestock information used to determine a famers stocking rate is derived from a number of sources such as the Department’s Animal Identification and Movement (AIM) System, Sheep Census return information and stocking information derived from sources such as flock registers or equine passports.
Farmers may satisfy the ‘Active Farmer’ check by meeting the minimum stocking rate of 0.10 livestock units per hectare (equivalent to at least 1 ewe per hectare). The “active farmer check” is to ensure the person receiving the scheme payments, is the person farming the land being claimed. Farmers who do not satisfy the ‘Active Farmer’ check based on the minimum stocking rate will also have the opportunity to satisfy the active farmer requirement by carrying out other agricultural activities e.g. producing crops, cutting hay/silage, topping, maintaining landscape features, etc.
Under the Eco-scheme, farmers may select the Extensive Livestock Production Agricultural Practice, as one of their Eco-scheme practices, if their stocking rate is between 0.10 and 1.4 livestock units per hectare. An enhanced option is available, which would count as two practices, if their stocking rate is between 0.10 and 1.2 livestock units per hectare.
A minimum stocking rate of 0.10 livestock unit per hectare will also apply to the Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) and the Organic Farming Scheme.
These stocking rates must be maintained for 7 consecutive months within the calendar year and as an annual average for the calendar year.
The following livestock unit coefficients will be used from 2023:
Coefficient LIVESTOCK uNIT per hectare (lu/ha)
Under 1 year old
1 but less than 2 years old
Male, 2 years old and over
Heifers,2 years old and over
Other cows, 2 years old and over
Sheep and goats
*Breeding mares must have bred a foal in the previous 2 years and only 50% of the stocking requirement can be fulfilled using donkeys. Certified copies of the equine passports may need to be submitted to the Department.
**Deer are only considered eligible subject to an on-site inspection by the Department.
If farmers plan to change their circumstances, they can calculate their indicative stocking rate using the stocking rate calculator provided by the Department. The stocking rate calculator is available on the Department’s website at the following link: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/76026-common-agricultural-policy-cap-post-2020/#cap-calculators-payment-calculator-and-stocking-calculator
Further information on the above-mentioned schemes is available at www.gov.ie/CAP