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Minister Coughlan announces REPS payments for Willow and Miscanthus

The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan TD, today announced that REPS payments will apply to the planting of willow and miscanthus up to a maximum area on REPS holdings of 10 hectares or 25% whichever is the greater. Under the Bio-energy Scheme the maximum hectarage cannot exceed 20 hectares per applicant.

Minister Coughlan said that on the REPS area, farmers growing willow or miscanthus can receive the bio-energy establishment grant of €1,450 per hectare, the EU Energy Premium of €45 per hectare, a national payment of €80 per hectare and an adjusted REPS 3 payment of €155 per hectare. Under REPS 4 this payment will increase to €189 per hectare.

The €80 national payment is available as a top-up to the EU Energy Premium for three years and is subject to a maximum ceiling per producer over the three years. The current ceiling is 37.5 hectares per applicant. Minister Coughlan further pointed out that areas planted under willow and miscanthus also qualify for the Single Payment Scheme.

The Minister said she recognised that the costs involved in establishing willow and miscanthus were significant and from an environmental and bio-energy viewpoint it was important to provide an initial impetus to the production of such crops.

The Minister advised farmers interested in applying for establishment grants to plant willow and miscanthus under the Bio-energy Scheme to submit their applications for pre-planting approval by 30 March.

8 March 2007

Date Released: 08 March 2007