Case Study

Rush Mulcher pleases Patrick

Patrick Hughes, who farms in the hills near Loughmacrory, is especially enthusiastic about the impact  that the Farm Modernisation Programme (FMP) has made in  running his successful sucker herd.

 “Being able to acquire a rush mulcher has made a major difference in controlling rushes, resulting in improved grassland management on the farm. The List of Eligible Items was given careful consideration, and it was felt the rush mulcher best suited the needs of the farm. Even though the initial investment was high, this could be justified with the financial support available on this item as a result of a successful application to Tranche 2 of the FMP . Rushes can now be controlled in a much more efficient and environmentally friendly way”

Continuing the young Co Tyrone farmer detailed the other items of equipment included in his successful FMP application for financial support.

“A calving gate with dead lock head yoke and side containment gate has made difficult calvings easier, reduces the stress on stock and allows for a safer working environment to all those assisting. The CCTV camera linked by a wireless system to the internet has saved significant time and energy during calving periods allowing me to check stock regularly without disturbing them (particularly at night).

“When it comes to making progress with a suckler herd being able to monitor animal performance using a new weigh platform in the crush has been another huge step forward.

 “The final items that the FMP grant helped us obtain were a calf creep feeder and a shear grab for the front end loader. Both in their own way making the business more efficient and general farm tasks easier.

 “With the closing date of October 19 for submitting applications to Tranche 3 of the FMP now approaching, I would encourage other farmers to consider applying. A grant of up to 40% of the cost from a minimum of £500 to a maximum of £4000 can make a big difference to the workload and output of a farm business. 

 “Taking time to look at the future direction of the farm and to prepare a well thought through application, can certainly take a farm forward.”

 Dr Andrew Kerr (FMP Measure Manager) commented that, “Farm businesses with a DARD Category 1 Farm Business Identification Number can now apply for financial support under Tranche 3 of the Farm Modernisation Programme.”

 Those farmers with technical queries regarding FMP Tranche 3 items or those requiring assistance accessing the online application system should contact  the Countryside Agri-Rural Partnership Helpline  tel: 0845 0267 535.

 Only one application can be submitted per farm business and may be made online via or with a hard copy application posted or handed into Countryside Agri-Rural Partnership or selected DARD offices.

The Farm Modernisation Programme is funded by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) as part of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2007-2013.