Participants in the second phase of the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP II) have been reminded that they only have until Thursday, August 31, to appeal their reference year.

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association’s (ICSA’s) Suckler Chairman John Halley took the opportunity to remind participants of the looming deadline.

Applicants were initially told a reference year of 2014 would be applicable; this reference year can now be appealed and changed to a reference year of 2017, Halley explained.

“This is a great opportunity for young farmers in particular who have been building up their stock numbers over the intervening years.

Changing the reference year to 2017 will allow these farmers to maximise what they can get out of the scheme.

“The ICSA would like to see as many farmers as possible benefiting from the scheme; this flexibility on the part of the department regarding a change of reference year is welcome indeed,” he said.

Farmers must outline a valid case whereby 2017 would be a more appropriate reference year for their participation in the BDGP II scheme, the ICSA explained.

Farmers have until Thursday, August 31, to write to the department’s office in Portlaoise or to send an email to: [email protected] outlining their appeal.

Earlier this year, the department confirmed to AgriLand that it received a total of 1,900 applications to BDGP II. The second phase of the programme opened for applications in April of this year; farmers interested in applying were given until May to submit their applications.

Like the original scheme, BDGP II requires farmers to commit to completing various actions over a 6-year period in exchange for a series of payments.

These actions are aimed at delivering accelerated genetic improvements in the national herd and improvements in its environmental sustainability.