The Areas of Natural Constraints scheme provides payments to people farming land in designated disadvantaged areas. It aims to support the continuation of farming in these area by compensating farmers for the additional costs involved in farming such land.
How to qualify
To qualify for the Areas of Natural Constraints scheme, you must:
hold a valid herd number and be farming at least three hectares of eligible ANC lands in your own right
maintain a minimum stocking density of 0.15 livestock units per eligible forage hectare for 7 consecutive months within the 2020 calendar year
maintain an annual average stocking density of 0.15 livestock units per eligible forage hectare for the 2020 calendar year
Applicants with sheep or goats must have submitted a valid Sheep or Goat Census return within specified timelines. Arable lands, which are payable in designated areas under the scheme, are not subject to or taken into account in the calculation of stocking requirements.
The following animals are eligible:
cattle, sheep and goats
horses, donkeys and deer
Details of stocking density requirements are set out in the Terms and Conditions of the scheme.
You must comply with the terms and conditions of the scheme. They should be read along with the terms of the Basic Payment Scheme.
Rates of payment
The previous designated land types of 'Mountain', 'More Severely' and 'Less Severe' are now Category 1, 2 and 3, and the rates are as follows:
1st 12 ha
13 - 34 ha
1st 10 ha
11 – 30 ha
1st 8 ha
9 – 30 ha
Applicants maintaining a combination of Category 1, 2 and 3 land, will be paid up to a maximum of 30 hectares except where the area of Category 1 land declared is between 30 and 34 hectares. In these cases, the payment will be based on the number of hectares of Category 1 land declared.
Payment will be made in the order of Category 1, then Category 2 and lastly Category 3. This is to maximise the amount which can be paid to an applicant.
Change of designation
Applicants who hold lands which are no longer eligible following the completed redesignation of Areas of Natural Constraint lands in 2019 will receive a transitional, or 'degressive' payment. This payment will be paid at a rate of 40% of the average rate payable per hectare under the 2014 –2020 Rural Development Programme.
This payment is only made where you would suffer a financial loss after the redesignation of lands. Where you have sufficient eligible lands to claim full Areas of Natural Constraint payment, no 'degressive' payment is made.
Transitional payment rates
Rate per Ha for 2020
Previous ANC Designation
40% of 2014 - 2020 RDP Rate
More Severely Disadvantaged
Less Severely Disadvantaged
You apply for the Areas of Natural Constraints scheme as part of your Basic Payment Scheme
application. To apply online, login or register at www.agfood.ie
. You must apply by midnight on Wednesday 15 May 2020.
If your login or password are expired and need to be renewed please contact the Department’s helpdesk .