DAFM Sheep Schemes

Sheep Ireland has been involved in a number of national sheep schemes operated and funded by the Irish Department of Agriculture. These schemes involve;

Sheep Improvement Scheme (2023 – 2027)

Check the Frequently Asked Questions HERE for more information on the SIS.

The Sheep Improvement Scheme provides financial support to farmers for taking extra steps to improve the welfare of their flock. Farmers get €12 per breeding ewe for completing flock welfare measures. All applicants to the scheme will be required to purchase and use a genotyped ram in the first three years of the scheme.

For Lowland flocks, the ram must be 4 or 5 stars on the Replacement or Terminal Index and have a genomic evaluation with Sheep Ireland at the time of purchase and be a type 1, 2 or 3 for Scrapie. No type 4 or 5 scrapie genotyped rams will qualify.

For Hill flocks, if the ram is any Blackface Mountain type ram or a Cheviot type, the ram only needs to be DNA Sire verified by Sheep Ireland and be a type 1, 2 or 3 for Scrapie at the time of purchase.

Sheep Knowledge Transfer Programme (2016 – 2022)

This programme was launched in 2016 and is a follow-up to STAP. Similar to STAP, this programme incentives participation in a discussion group in association with analysing and improving each participant’s sheep enterprise. Information on the DAFM sheep KT programme can be found by clicking here.

Sheep Ireland is not directly involved in this programme but has been involved in the development of a breeding plan which each participant must complete. A template of this breeding plan can be found here. These breeding plans must be submitted to the Department of Agriculture each year.

Sheep Technology Adoption Programme (2013 – 2015)

STAP ran from 2013 to 2015, and encouraged farmers to join a sheep discussion group. Click here for more information on Sheep Ireland’s involvement in this very successful programme. Click here for a link to full scheme information on the Department of Agriculture website.