Written Answers. - Silage Grants.

16.

asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will be prepared to reintroduce the special grants available for first time silage makers and also special grants for the provision of silage slabs; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

47.

asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will extend payment of the silage subsidy, payable to farmers making silage for the first time in 1985, to the current year.

I propose to take Questions Nos. 16 and 47 together.

The subsidy for first time silage making operated in 1985 was purely an emergency measure occasioned by the adverse summer weather of 1985. Its purpose was to alleviate the problems of fodder supplies for winter feeding. A similar subsidy this year is not envisaged.

Grant aid of 30 per cent of approved costs (35 per cent in disadvantaged areas) is available for silage slabs to participants in the farm improvement programme following an approved farm improvement plan.